Running, Strolling, and Change on the Horizon

by Michael Mitchell

“It’s always the simple things that change our lives. And these things never happen when you are looking for them to happen. Life will reveal answers at the pace life wishes to do so. You feel like running, but life is on a stroll. This is how God does things.” -Donald Miller

On Monday of this week, I was officially promoted into a new role at the university where I work. And while I wasn’t exactly looking for a new job, had you asked me about this particular role a year ago, I would have probably used the phrase “dream job” to describe it.

It’s funny – looking back at my life the last few years – to see all of the seemingly small things that had to line up in order for this one big change to take place. And yet, as cliche as it may sound, this opportunity came along at a point in my life when I’d recently made a concerted effort to stop striving for that ever elusive “perfect” job. Though I’ve spent a good deal of my brief professional life trying to run, it wasn’t until I finally started trying to stroll that this opportunity materialized.

But enough with the poetic wax.

As I move forward in my new role, which seems (as best as I can tell) to have a fairly steep learning curve, I’m entering into season of pruning in my life (much like the season of pruning that led to my involvement with this blog in the first place) and the time has come for me to step away from the Red Dirt Chronicles. I know this will come as a terrible shock for both of my faithful weekly readers, but trust me, despite an absence of writing from yours truly here on the RDC, the sun will still come up next Wednesday morning.

To my friend Kelly Roberts, thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to write for the Red Dirt Chronicles this last year and a half. Thank you for understanding in those increasingly frequent occurrences when I’ve been late with a post and/or just completely forgotten. Thank you for always reading and commenting on my stuff. Thank you for being such a great editor. Thank you for giving me this outlet to occasionally put my thoughts on manhood, fatherhood, and other mysteries out there for the world to read. Even more than that though, thank you for being a great friend to me and the ladies Mitchell. And please note, you will not find the words farewell or goodbye in this paragraph. Please interpret their absence as an open invitation to pop in on the Mitchell clan anytime you find yourself in northwest Oklahoma City.

To the other RDC contributors, I rarely comment, but I read all of your posts and have loved getting to know you all through your writing. You are a fine group of talented writers and genuinely good people. Thank you for consistenly sharing little pieces of your life with all of us each week.

As I close out this post, I have decided to blatantly plagiarize Rob’s going away piece, and I quote, “I have an exciting new career opportunity and I need to devote my time to [learning] this new job, but I want you to know I will still be reading the RDC as often as I can, and I may even write a piece from time to time. I consider myself so very blessed and so incredibly fortunate to have been a part of this site and I wouldn’t trade this last year for anything!”

Amen brother. I couldn’t have said it better myself… so I didn’t.

God bless and peace out.




One thought on “Running, Strolling, and Change on the Horizon”

  1. MM:

    One of the coolest things about my unpaid job as Editor to the unpaid writers of the RDC is that I can preview what the public has not yet seen.

    Tonight when I read your closing out post, for some reason a scene from Matilda popped into my head. I’m sharing this with you to make a point…

    Harry Wormwood: Are you in this family?
    Matilda: Mmmm…
    Harry Wormwood: Hello?
    [short pause]
    Harry Wormwood: Are you in this family?
    [switches the lamp off]
    Harry Wormwood: Dinner time is family time. What is this trash you’re reading?
    Matilda: It’s not trash, Daddy, it’s lovely. It’s called “Moby Dick”, by Herman Melville.
    Harry Wormwood: Moby *what*?
    [snatching the book from Matilda and tears the pages out of the cover]
    Harry Wormwood: This is Filth! Trash…!
    Matilda: It’s not mine! It’s a library book!
    Harry Wormwood: I’m fed up with all this reading! You’re a Wormwood, you start acting like one! Now sit up and look at the TV.

    First off, I think your daughter will have a clear sense of “what is lovely” because of her parents. I think other parents will also have a clear sense of “lovely,” however, because of your Life to Her Years project. And I have no doubt that your staff and the students at OC will have a better introduction into “what is lovely” because of your spirit and heart leading the process of their introduction into university life.

    I will visit soon. And, I’ll probably listen to a story from Annaleise or tell her a story and cry at least once. She’s wonderful at influencing the lovely as well.

    Peace to you too – Red Dirt Kelly

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