But not the way you might think…
Some of the dates in my life, or in my family or friends’ lives, are significant for different reasons. Mama’s birthday on Independence Day, Aunt Martha’s on Cinco de Mayo, Uncle John Bryant’s on Leap Day, all seem to speak to their personality traits and characters. My friend Paula has had numerous strange and sad events to occur on March 17 in different years. Over the years some of my Delta Omicron students’ recitals have been on memorable dates as well, such as Friday the 13th, or Halloween. This year one of those recitals happens tomorrow, and this student will always remember her Senior Recital date. April Fool’s Day.
April Fool’s Day has significance for me as well, as it is the grant date stamped on my FCC permit. Back in the Stone Age when I began my career in broadcasting and media, a person had to apply for a permit from the Federal Communications Commission in order to operate a transmitter at a radio or TV station. Those permits had to be posted in a central location in the station. The last place mine was posted, it was taped into a binder, and when I removed it, the tape ripped off part of the text on the back side outlining the rules and regulations, and what it was illegal for me as an operator to do on the air with our signal.
I’ve joked over the years that my April Fool’s FCC permit grant date foretold what my career would hold in store! The fact is, I had no idea about the journey upon which I was about to embark. I was flying blind. I had not gone to school to prepare for a career in radio and television, so I graduated from the “earn-as-you-learn” school of radio on my first job. And for years, because I hadn’t studied broadcasting in school, I felt like a fraud and secretly feared that the Media Police would eventually discover me and throw me out of the business!
It turns out that my career in broadcasting has yielded me some of my most lasting friendships, taught me valuable skills and spanned nearly 3 decades. From my first radio job where I played actual vinyl records and my first TV master control position using an antiquated commercial tape sequencer called Digitrol (a nightmare machine with a 9-second pre-roll!), I have seen old technologies fade away and new ones emerge. Radio and television also seem to attract creative types. I’ve worked with more writers, poets, artists and musicians than I ever dreamed possible outside of the professional music and art world.
I always tell the young people I work with through Delta Omicron to “have a plan, but be open to surprise”. Over the years I’ve learned that God takes us where He does, when He does, for a reason. Had I not been open to surprise—to flying blind—I would have missed my whole career and all the blessings it has brought me. I am still very actively involved with music and pray that I always will be, as long as God gives me opportunities to serve Him in that way. But my profession has been elsewhere, at least to this point. And God has given me chances to serve there as well. So it’s all good. I’m still in many ways flying blind…and still very much open to surprise.
Proverbs 3:5-6 gives wonderful advice. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct thy paths.” WhereEVER those paths lead.