It’s the day after Canada Day and as I have done various times over the years, this morning I was thinking back to how I returned to “my home and native land” way back when.
I was just 13 years old when my Dad, a Ford Motor employee in Oakville, Ont., was transferred to Dearborn, Mich.
We moved as a family of course and I attended high school and university in the U.S.
To be clear, I certainly could have stayed after graduation, having legal status (a so-called “green card”). And I almost certainly could have worked in my chosen field (journalism) having worked at the student newspaper (the Eastern Echo) for the four years I attended Eastern Michigan University.
But there was what I now call “the nudge.”
I’m not even sure exactly when it was but I definitely had a feeling that I should return to Canada.
So I finished my last class, packed up my stuff (meager as it was), and headed down Highway 401 to Toronto.
I stayed for a few days with my paternal grandmother, with whom I had a great relationship, and got my first job the very next day.
About two years later, I met the young woman who would become my wife—we married a year after that and (God willing) will celebrate our 41st wedding anniversary this November 5.
She—Mrs. Booth—will tell you that in her native Liverpool she had been praying for “a Christian husband” since she was around 18 (we met when she was 23).
Years later, when I was working in Fort McMurray, Alberta, another “nudge” lead us to move to Sarnia, the reason being to be closer to our family, including my sister and brother and their growing families who were (and still are) living in Michigan.
That was nearly 33 years ago and we’re still here, with close friends, a community of like-minded souls (we were part of a small group that formed Lighthouse Community Church here in Sarnia), and two adult children with kids of their own.
And all this because we heard the nudge.
Could things have worked out if I (and later we) turned another direction?
Of course. There are a number of paths that remain open to any of us.
But it’s interesting nonetheless to think about how wonderfully amazing and even fascinating, to say the least, how things play out over the years.
This is not about preaching or anything even close to it.
I do, however, believe we have the capacity to listen and respond when something inside each of us whispers, almost out loud.
Listen and you could very well hear it yourself. What you do next could make all the difference in the world.