The Tapestry of Life

by Don Meyer, Ph.D. | Dec 28, 2013

“In the tapestry of life we are all connected. Each one of us is a gift to those around us, helping each other be who we are, weaving a perfect picture together.”
Anita Moorjani

Just like that, 2013 comes to a close. It seems as though we were just setting goals and making New Year’s resolutions, and here we are with 2014 just around the corner. I always find myself reflective at this time of the year. 

This year our college is celebrating its 75th anniversary. All year we are having alumni returning to their alma mater to tell their stories of what they have done since they graduated and what this place has meant to them. 

Earlier this year we honored five professors here at VFCC whose classroom service accrued to a total of 135 years: Dr. Malcolm Brubaker (30 years); Dr. Billy DeSanto (26 years); Dr. JoAnn Smith (27 years); Prof. Laura Brookins (26 years); Prof. Kathy Terragnoli (26 years). These five professors alone have taught almost double the total number of years that VFCC has existed.

VFCC is one of 16 Assemblies of God institutions of higher education with a total of approximately 16,000 students in the United States. The Alliance (as it is called) of these 16 institutions is led by Dr. Marilyn Abplanalp. And, earlier this year she was on campus to give awards to these five professors for their years of service. 

While on campus Dr. Abplanalp shared a short message on “The Tapestry of Life.” She began that message this way, “In 1971 Edith Schaefer wrote a book entitled ‘The Tapestry.’ She shares the idea that each of our lives is a thread. You are a thread and I am a thread (our stories are each a thread). As we affect each other’s ideas, physical beings, spiritual understanding, or material possessions, or as we influence each other’s attitudes, we are at the same time affecting history.”

She continued, “History is different because you have lived, and because I have lived. In this idea of a tapestry, we are being woven together, threads that are important to a pattern, the pattern of the history of our lifetimes, but also the pattern we affect in the future of history.”

Those are the kind of words I like to ponder as one year comes to a close and another is about to begin. It is impossible to calculate the ways those five professors have woven threads into the tapestries of their students. All over the world there are alums whose lives have the attitudes and skills and even spirit and tones of those professors in them. 

And as we look back on this year, we too are recipients in the tapestry of our own lives from those who have provided their threads to us. Everyone from the people who serve us at the grocery store to those who sit next to us in church, and from those who walk with us in Valley Forge National Historical Park to those who join us in downtown Phoenixville on “First Friday,” we receive something from them and they receive something from us. 

Wayne Dyer said, “As I look back on the entire tapestry of my life, I can see from the perspective of the present moment that every aspect of my life was necessary and perfect. Each step eventually led to a higher place, even though these steps often felt like obstacles or painful experiences.” 

We get all kinds of threads from all of life, the good times and the tough times, and the people who walk with us on the journey. As 2013 comes to a close and the final threads of this year are added to the weaving, let’s not focus on the tangles and frayed knots, or seemingly random threads. Now is a good time to turn the tapestry over and look at the design. You may be pleasantly surprised.

Think about it.


Dr. Don Meyer is President of 
Valley Forge Christian College, Phoenixville, PA 
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