Thanks to the wonders of technology, as this email lands in your inbox, I’ll be somewhere in the south of England, watching my youngest brother graduate from the RAF.
I’m super excited, and not least because I get to dress up fancy, but that’s a whole other story.
Nathaniel wants to be a fireman.
After he graduated from university, he did all the usual investigation into how one becomes a fireman. The local brigade didn’t have any jobs so he looked at the option of being an on call fireman but my parent’s house was too far out of town so that couldn’t happen.
Because it was seeming like fireman wasn’t going to happen, he applied to join the RAF as an officer. He did loads of fitness work leading up to the big day and eventually it was time to go through the testing process.
On one fateful day, he had to scale a wall. (Yes, literally. I love metaphors but this one was an actual wall.) He did it during the practice run but during the real thing, he couldn’t do it.
He was gutted!
And yes, I’m projecting somewhat. He was really grownup about it but after all that training and preparation, I’m pretty sure he was disappointed.
Fast forward months and months and I’m standing in his RAF graduation and next month, he starts his training to be a fireman.
What the what?!?
Sometimes you’re just not meant to get over that wall.
Sometimes getting over the wall would mean saying hello to a whole load of stuff that isn’t really what you want.
Sometimes, maybe, you have to get around the wall via an alternate route?
In Nathaniel’s case, that meant going home, applying to join the RAF (again!) but this time as a firefighter (wanted he wanted to do all along – hooray!)
In Nathaniel’s case it meant months of interviews and training and preparation (he even went for a run on Boxing Day!) before finally facing that wall again.
In Nathaniel’s case it meant getting slap bang in the centre of where God wanted him, the long way round.
And I couldn’t be prouder of him.