Dimes and quarters


I come from the southeast of the province of Drenthe. A beautiful beautiful area. Rural, wide and wonderfully quiet. For me as a child there was always the opportunity to wander into the fields, fish at one of the many ditches or play in a farmer’s yard. A place where the biggest news is little more than a cow in the ditch or the ice cream truck that has fallen over. That generally makes life there not very complex or relaxed. However, it also has a downside. I became aware of that downside when I recently watched an episode of ‘De Hokjesman’. That program is about the national character of various groups in the Netherlands. In this episode, the national character of the Drent was examined and analyzed. One of the program makers summarized it as follows: “We discovered early on in the research that the Drent has a low self-esteem. It may be a bit provocative, but that low self-esteem is really there, although it is often masked by irony and understatement,” says program maker Michael Schaap. A large part of the program seemed to be about me, because I recognized a lot of what was said about the Drent. For me, this meant, among other things, that it was often made clear to me that dimes never become quarters. Ambition seemed like a dirty word. Dreaming about what I would like was neither necessary nor really desirable. Dimes never turn into quarters. Thinking about what a quarter would look like to me is something I learned later, as the desire became greater than the fear. That took some effort, but it ultimately made me choose to become more skilled in theology and teaching. From this route I tried to dream about what that quarter would look like. Maybe become a pastor somewhere? Moses thought he knew which quarter he was going to be. He kept that in his own hands by taking action himself to ultimately become that penny. He wanted to protect a fellow countryman and killed an Egyptian, because he wanted to be recognized as leader of the people of Israel (Acts 7: 24-25). It seemed obvious to Moses, given the special upbringing he had received, what kind of penny he would become. He fully committed himself to that, but it broke him down at the hands, resulting in the desert. In my search for the quarter it also broke my hands. Going for the pastorate felt like swimming in peanut butter. It exhausted me and made me unhappy. I didn’t understand God either, because I felt called to this path. Doubt took over me. Perhaps it is true that the dime should not want to become a quarter. Moses talks to God in the desert. There, Moses finds out that God is the one who has a plan for his life. That plan turned out to be much more beautiful and better than Moses could ever have imagined. That plan would change his life and bring the people of Israel to the place where they belong. I have learned that destiny and calling are not so much about a task, but about the connection with and being with Jesus. By trying to stay close to Jesus, He is able to direct my life in ways I could never have imagined. It has brought me to where I am now, at Royal Mission. A place where I feel at home and where I can develop myself in what I was made for. That turned out to be much more than a quarter…to me it’s worth its weight in gold! Moses was told that God did not just want the best destination forare life, but also the best destination for his people. God wanted much more than just to save his people from slavery in Egypt. He especially wanted to take them to a fantastically beautiful promised land. I think that could only have been Drenthe…

About Martin Dol

Getrouwd met Annemarije en vader van 3. Hoofd Onderwijs binnen Royal Mission en gek van geo-cachen.

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