About halfway through my undergraduate program I hit a snag. In order to proceed with the normal sequence of chemistry classes for my major I needed to have taken or be concurrently enrolled in general physics. But I hadn’t started the physics sequence, and the first class in that sequence wasn’t going to be offered in the coming term. The upshot of this series of falling dominoes was that I was going to fall behind and it would take me an extra year to graduate.
This would likely be rotten news for anyone, but in my imagined future I would be enrolling in medical school, followed by internship and residency. All those years of graduate education and training loomed large, and an additional year of time-wasting undergraduate work was dauntingly depressing.
I left the building where I was supposed to have finished signing up for winter-term classes with an empty schedule; nothing had fit, no class that I needed and was qualified to take was open. My parents were 2000 miles away, and my Dad was going through chemotherapy.
At the street corner waiting for the light to turn green I was about as glum as I had ever been; not weepingly sad, just weighted down with gloomy resignation. Then I heard The Voice.
It said, “If I want you to go to medical school, do you think there is anything that can get in your way?”
“Well, no; probably not.”
“If I don’t want you to go to medical school, do you think you’d be happy once you got there?”
“Well, no; I wouldn’t want that.”
The light turned green, and I crossed the street. The miracle was not that my schedule suddenly made sense or the classes miraculously opened up or that my Dad’s brain tumor was gone, but that my despair was turned into joy because of a conversation with the One I call God. Nothing externalhad changed but I finished the journey back to my dorm happy. How can I explain that? How can I justify that?