When 2 + 2 = 5

Life’s a funny thing, isn’t it? Imagine a little girl who had the misfortune to be born just six months after the great stock market crash of October, 1929. Now imagine that she was born on a remote cattle ranch in Arizona. Imagine further that she had no running water or electricity until she was eight years old. Imagine further that she was an only child who lived miles from the nearest school. Imagine her with only adult cowboys for friends and wild animals for playmates. Picture her training a wild bobcat to become a pet. Imagine her sent away to live with her maternal grandmother in order to attend a real school. Imagine her so homesick that she has to return home for a year just to deal with her loneliness. Imagine growing up in one of the poorest states in the nation during the greatest depression our country has ever seen. Add up the pieces and the picture becomes pretty clear, doesn’t it?

Here was a little girl who was born with the deck stacked against her. And it should be obvious to everyone that she was unfairly sentenced to a life of poverty, probably an unwanted pregnancy in her teen years, several failed marriages and numerous other failed relationships and death at a young age the result of poor healthcare and hard living. Right?

Wrong! This was Sandra Day O’Conner who was sworn in on this date in 1991 as the first woman justice on the United States Supreme Court. O’Conner actually graduated from high school at age 16 and had a bachelor’s degree in economics magna cum laude at age 20. She went on to Stanford law school and graduated in only two years instead of the customary three while serving on the Stanford Law Review.

You see, our circumstances have so very little to do with our outcome. By rights, O’Conner should never have even entered college, let alone become the first female Supreme Court justice. All too often we allow ourselves to become discouraged because we live in the country, or we live in the city; because we don’t have a big homeschooling budget or because our kids have no friends. Perhaps we’re concerned because we have too many kids to give much individualized attention, or because we have only one child and they have no one to collaborate with on learning projects. The list of reasons why homeschooling might not work out is endless. And irrelevant.

Tell your children the story of America’s first woman Supreme Court justice today. Tell them about her beginnings- and her end. Tell them she was sworn in on September 25, 1991. Tell them that she changed history. And tell them that they can too. Regardless of your circumstances your children live in a country where they can do anything they put their mind to- just like Sandra Day O’Conner.

Thank God for that opportunity. Meditate on Proverbs 16:3 “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans  will succeed.” Our plans help shape our destiny. Now read Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you…” The Lord also has plans for us. Once we get our plans and His plans to align the possibilities are endless.

Talk with the Lord about your plans today. Then ask him about His plans. Then listen. Now remind your children that the Lord has a plan for them too and that together you’re going to begin figuring out God’s plan.

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3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Great post! Circumstances are always in our minds!

  2. 2

    Christa said,

    Sandra Day O’Connor has written a very sweet children’s book called Finding Susie based on her life on the cattle ranch and her quest to find the perfect pet. It includes the bobcat, but the bobcat is not Susie. 🙂

  3. 3

    Jill said,

    Ahhh. Very thought provoking post. Thank you Steve!


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