The picture (left) was taken 58 years ago on the “Johan van Oldenbarnevelt” as I travelled to Australia with my parents. I was three and half years old at the time (and quite cute). It was a five week journey that took us from Amsterdam, via the Suez to Australia. The JvO made this journey many times as it delivered migrants seeking a new life. There have been moments when I wondered what my life would have been like if my family had not emigrated. But really, that is an empty exercise.
I have also wondered what drove my parents and the many others to seek this new life. Air travel and telephone communication were expensive. Keeping contact with loved ones would not be easy. For both my parents it meant that they would never see their own parents again. I know that for my father, he desired a future for himself and his family. Living in a cramped attic in post war Rotterdam and struggling to find work encouraged him to seek an alternative life.
I have been grateful for his restlessness as I have enjoyed the life and the opportunities that it has spawned. One regret is that my dad didn’t live long enough to see how his granddaughters took these opportunities to a new level.
The one constant for our family then, and my own family now, is that we both had a heavenly dad whose plans and purposes over-arched any petty plans that we may have had- big or small.
So as I blunder into 2012, I for one know that whatever my decisions and actions, there is a heavenly father who cares for me and my loved ones with an eternal perspective.