57 Years ago today, August 17, 1965, I arrived in Chiang Mai on a DC-12, one of Thai Air’s 3 flights a week from Bangkok. (There are 3 flights an hour, these days). I was met by Dr. E. John Hamlin, principal of the Thailand Theological Seminary and the entire student body. We stopped at Wat Suan Dawk for my first glimpse at the religious mystery I have now spent a lifetime investigating.
Arriving in Chiang Mai was like stepping into a totally different setting, with an almost completely different cast of characters and only a rudimentary script. I was told in a hundred ways to improvise. I turned out, to my great surprise, to be OK at improvisation.
The drama of my life has had a few radical twists. August 17 was when I first caught sight of the setting for several separate acts to follow. After life as an Illinois town and farm boy, I came to Chiang Mai, and then became an American pastor in Illinois, before returning to Chiang Mai, and again going back to Illinois. Now I am back in Chiang Mai, and this act may be the final one. It is lacking most of the dramatic challenges of previous acts, which is good.
I learned one thing in this extended sojourn: One cannot be sure of what is to follow.
Rev. Dr. Kenneth Dobson posts his weekly reflections on this blog.