I once thought that 18 years was an incredibly long time to go to school. I was right. However, 33 years of working at HP does tend to make the 18 years seem less significant. The 51 year total shocks me. What a very long time to do anything. At first school was generic. Read, write, math, and so on. By the time I was 11 I knew I wanted to work in a scientific field. At 13 my hero was Jacque Cousteau. He was my hero because he invented the scuba regualtor. He developed other undersea gear, and he used what he invented. I determined to study engineering by the time I was in Junior High School. More than four decades have passed since I made the decision to study and practice engineering. It has only been one part of a very full life, but it was a large part that consumed much of my time and energy. Now I am making the decision to move on to other things.
As an engineer I would typically list alternatives and rate them according to a set of criteria I devised. This form of structured decision making would help organize my thoughts and mitigate against biases I might have, even those not obvious to me. But as I said, I am moving on.
I have no clear list of alternatives. I cannot organize my thoughts around objective criteria. I am exploring new mental territory.
Another factor had typically been the need to support myself and provide for my family. God has enabled me to build a modest fortune that presently frees me from the need to be concerned about working for income. As with all I have and all I hope to have, that modest fortune belongs to God and I hope to use it to his glory. He can augment or decimate it as he sees fit. I do not put my trust in the wealth. I put my trust in the giver of all good things.
My health is imperfect. I lack the stamina I had as a younger man. One leg is so damaged that I will soon have the natural knee replaced with a steel and plastic contraption that I hope will free me from chronic pain. However, as disabilities go, it is a mere trifle. I thank God for steady emotions, clear thinking, and a physical apparatus suitable for serving friends and family and for enjoying many of the pleasures God has given to us all. I enjoy sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and the feel of the soft down on my grandson's crown. I can give a warm embrace and enjoy one in return. When the time is right according to God's perfect plan, I will be given a completely new body and a vastly superior comprehension of his love and goodness.
Meanwhile, I am moving on to seek God's will for me in this new chapter of my life on this earth. In the year ahead, I plan to purposefully seek his will. I hope to develop ideas and make decisions that are hidden from me now. I am excited in a very pleasant and positive way. I see the coming years as filled with possibilities. All things are possible in Christ who strengthens me. I can rest in the assurance that God will use the gifts he has given me to fulfill the plan he has had from before the beginning of time. The results will bear witness to his greatness for all of eternity. Oh Lord, free me from the snares and distractions that would hinder me from serving you or from knowing the joy of surrendering my all to you.