I was 22, one year out of Vanderbilt. She was 21, her supersized UConn graduation scheduled for the next day (no, we didn’t attend!)
Looking back now, I’d have to say that we were basically clueless. I’m surprised her Dad didn’t duct tape me to a tree and tell me to “come back in five years when you’ve grown up some.”
No clear career direction. Very little money. Far loftier ideals than any kind of track record. Anyone could do the math and figure out that the timing wasn’t right.
The time is never right for the big decisions, is it? You’re never ready to have that first child. Maybe that move to a new area of greater opportunity really isn’t convenient right now. All the ducks aren’t fully lined up to start that new business.
But the calculus of some decisions includes forces both rational and primal. Sometimes, a thing must be done because…well, it must be done, even if all the “math” doesn’t seem to add up on the front end.
I remember wrestling with the decision about whether I should pursue getting engaged to Sandy. What is the will of God at a huge fork in the road like that? An older friend listened, and then asked me a simple question – “Well, do you WANT to marry her? One way God leads is through our desires.” Now desire alone can lead us into a world of trouble, but wholesome and healthy desires for a spouse or a family or ______ may overrule that drumbeat of the logical conclusion that “the timing just isn’t right.”
There were many rational pros – and cons – about pursuing such a commitment at that age. But primal forces were at work as well. Love does not always carry a calculator.
The timing is rarely right. Or wrong. The pieces may not all seem to be in place. No-one is coming to you with a 100% money-back guarantee; no major decision involves total certainty and no risk. Sometimes, like C.S. Lewis as an adult, you have to face down your fear of the water by simply diving in and swimming.
Twenty-nine May 23rds ago, we joined hands and dove in. [I just read this to my wife. She added – “we’re still coming up for air!”] Yes, anyone could have presented an alternate timeline, and with good reason. But primal forces were at work, and we have no regrets. We’re gladly swimming.
What primal forces are at work in you, urging you to the water’s edge?