Saturday, August 18, 2012

Joy Will be Yours

We were at dinner with my dear cousin Jerry, who was visiting while here on business. As every conversation with Asherel eventually ends up, we were discussing her love of the Beatles. The waiter walked by as Asherel was telling Jerry about Liverpool University in England where one can major in Beatles History.

The waiter stopped. We were at a Mexican restaurant, and he spoke with a Mexican accent. He had noticed Asherel's Beatle shirt, and told us he too was loony over the Beatles. He raised his uniform shirt to reveal a Beatles' T-shirt beneath.
"This place you were talking about," he said, "You can go and get a Beatles degree?"
He had a hopeful look on his face. His expression revealed a smoldering dream inside him that was obviously of deep importance.

Asherel told him about Liverpool university where yes indeed, you could actually get a degree in Beatles History.
"What would you do with such a degree?" he asked.
"Wait on tables and bring us more chips," Jerry said, under his breath.
"Well...that is the problem," I admitted.
"Maybe you could start a Beatles look alike band," suggested Jerry, "You do look a little like Paul McCartney."
"Can you play guitar?" I asked.
"Yes! I can! I was thinking of just this thing!"
"Can you sing?" I asked.
"No," he said sorrowfully, "Sometimes I try with my friends and they tell me that I cannot sing."
"Oh...well then that might not be the thing for you," said Jerry.
"Singing lessons?" I suggested.
"With a Beatles Degree," he pondered, "Maybe one could write a book." there aren't enough Beatle Books out there....
"Or work at Disneyland," I added.

He gathered our menus, and with a very serious look on his face went on to put our order in the kitchen. I felt a little sorry for him. This was a dream that I could not see ever being realized. My dogs get that same look on their face as they sit on the back deck at the top of the stairs. They look into the distance with deep, pondering, serious silence. They seem to be considering all the possibilities of the things they would one day like to do. I wonder if they too are dreaming of starting a rock band that would rival the greatest band that ever lived. And then they see a squirrel, erupt in ear stabbing barks, and are off to do what they have some semblance of hope of accomplishing- chase a squirrel up a tree.

Dreams and hopes. When we are young the whole world is open to us. We will become whatever we choose. Quite often, those dreams change and mature. But sometimes they don't...sometimes they just go unrealized. They were perhaps never attainable, yet in our youth, we don't know that. We think magic exists.

I sometimes guide my daughter into making wise, character building choices by urging her to live in such a way that what she hopes will be written as her epitaph will indeed come true.
"That's morbid and depressing," she told me.
I suppose it is. I do have a melancholy nature at times. But that is a hope and dream that I honestly might have a chance of bringing to fruition. If I want to be remembered as kind, I can actually be kind now! If I want to be remembered as being generous, I can be generous now. If I want to be remembered as someone who loved and spoke of God at every opportunity, I can love and speak of God at every opportunity now. This is a future I really can impact.

The waiter returned with a second batch of chips. He was a good waiter. He seemed like a nice young man, but so serious. I never saw him smile, even when he had been talking about all the Beatles albums he owned, and his walls plastered with Beatles posters. I hoped God would be gentle in molding his dreams to a place where he would find true and lasting and realistic joy.

Isaiah 61:7-11 (NIV)
Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours. [8] “For I, the Lord, love justice; I hate robbery and wrongdoing. In my faithfulness I will reward my people and make an everlasting covenant with them. [9] Their descendants will be known among the nations and their offspring among the peoples. All who see them will acknowledge that they are a people the Lord has blessed.” [10] I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. [11] For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.

-save a dog-

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