When my family moved to the city of Winnipeg, Canada, I enjoyed the opportunity to attend a Christian school for my sophomore year of high school. Since Red River Valley Junior Academy offered only 10 grades, the next year I had to choose to either attend a public high school or go away to a boarding school. After a great deal of discussion and prayer, it was decided that I would go away to the boarding school.

After I graduated from the boarding school, I struggled with the decision to attend either a small college in Canada or a university in Michigan. Once again, the process involved a lot of careful thought, discussion with my family, and prayer. As a result, the next fall I crossed the border into the United States and began my college education at Andrews University in Michigan.

Many years later, I was in the 10th year of service as a youth pastor at a church in the Washington, D.C., area when a former classmate from that university in Michigan visited our church. He was the president of a hospital in California, and he was looking for a chaplain. We renewed our friendship, and a week later he called and invited me to come out to visit the hospital and talk about the position of chaplain.

Have you ever contemplated the crossroads in your life and how you might have ended up in an entirely different situation had you taken the other road? Though I didn’t have a clear idea of my destination, I was sure that I wanted to follow the way God opened for me, and I believed He was very familiar with the route. The road has not been easy, and there have been storms and unexpected detours, but I wouldn’t change a thing. I am grateful for my journey and for the growth I’ve experienced as a result.

by Chaplain Ron Hyrchuk

May 22, 2008