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A Life With Plenty of Room

What type of adventures are possible in your life?

In the movie "African Queen," Katherine Hepburn is a missionary who has been serving in Africa with her brother. Her brother dies as World War II erupts and their quiet village is attacked. As he is dying, the brother recounts the decision to come to Africa, feverishly remembering that his sister was not good-looking and not likely to marry, and so it was decided that she might as well serve with him as a missionary.

There is a long tradition of singleness as providing "room" for service and ministry. At the college I attended, there was a very long tradition of women training for teaching, medicine and missions work, with the idea that the years before marriage - or perhaps one's whole lifetime as an unmarried woman - would provide space for service.

As a result, the college had an amazing history of alumnae who did wonderful things with their lives, making a lasting impact on the communities where they served, while pioneering new career fields and broadening career opportunities for future generations of women. Today's students know that a heart for "making a difference" now goes far beyond some of the traditional areas of service. As many generations of women and men have shown, the "space" provided by singleness allows for much more than traditional channels of service and ministry.

As with Katherine Hepburn's character in "The African Queen," life can lead to all kinds of adventures. What kind of adventures are possible in your life? What does your singleness provide room for?

April 2014