Confirmed by the Smiles of Children

Some of you may have noticed that my blog posts have been appearing later and later in the day.  It’s because my life has picked up a bit.  For the past few days, I have been busy conducting evaluations for a summer camp.  It has been a good experience so far.  However, I would never have expected for God to use that experience to remind me that I am indeed on the right track.

The closing ceremony at the camp today was a talent show.  I had the opportunity to watch these children sing, dance, recite poetry, model, and exercise their oratorical skills to Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.  The teachers and parents were so proud to watch the children display what they had learned.  As for me, I intended on taking a pretty passive role in the events.  After all, I was only there to take notes.  God had other plans.

When the ceremony was over, I was invited to stay a bit longer because the staff members were about to order pizza for the kids.  That extra hour turned out to be one of my best moments of this whole summer.  The kids pulled me into their games and even got me and a few of the other staff members involved in an impromptu sing-off.  I have written about the healing power of children in prior posts and today’s events reinforced it all.

What they didn’t know was that last night, I stayed up late talking with my mother about my financial state.  One of the staff members noticed that I was tired, but I didn’t have the heart to tell her why.  The truth is that I have been concerned about the impact that my pursuit of higher education will have on my future.  Although I know that there is a need for the kind of research that I am attempting to conduct, I am nonetheless worried about my mounting student loan debt.  Sometimes, I feel like I would be better off getting a full-time job for a few years and finishing my PhD later just because I am tired of living within such tight financial constraints.

Spending time with the kids today helped me to feel better about my decision.  They seemed inspired by the news of my PhD studies (though I am doubtful that they fully understood what it actually meant).  The staff members encouraged me to talk to the kids about the value of pursuing higher education and in turn, the kids seemed to be hanging on my every word.  (I even made quite an impression on one of their guests, but that’s another story for another post.)  In the end, God used this experience to help me to understand that I am indeed on the right track.  My life’s direction had been confirmed by the smiles of children.  Someday, all of these academic and financial struggles will be worth it.

What about you?  Has God ever gone out of his way to affirm your current path in life even when things don’t seem like they’re going well?

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About Spencer

Spencer T. Clayton is a typical millennial who believed his mother when she told him that he was capable of accomplishing great things (and as a result has amassed a large amount of student loan debt). When he isn’t blogging, he is either out with friends, writing and performing music, or busy working as an Executive Pastor and Consultant while simultaneously pursuing a PhD in Public Affairs.

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