Flags Across the Harvest #22March 1, 2021
Caught between yesterday and tomorrow
If you are familiar with any of my writings, you can quickly glean that I have been a dreamer my entire life.
I would have to say my sojourns into an alternative existence began when I was around four years old. Though it has ebbed as the pages of my life unfolded, dreams are still a part of who I am.
Often, the label of “dreamer” connotes an unrealistic fantasy rooted in an immature mind and influenced by a cartoon or, in modern times, a movie character. That was never the case with me.
My dreams were not in that mold; instead, they were a vision of how I had hoped my life would play out. Thus, every dream was filled with exhausting detail and a litmus test of it being in the realm of possibility.
I humbly state that by the time I was around six years old, I would even surprise myself with the computer-like speed I would write life’s business plan… with painstaking reality.
Being brought up on a farm, I knew that you must work for what you have or hoped to accomplish…. that was never a problem. All I ever wanted was an opportunity, nothing more. Failure was and still is never an option, and hard work never daunted me.
As I entered a double-digit age, the disappointments of life that ultimately come everyone’s way did little to dim the light of my hope for the future. Instead, it instilled in me the need to create a Plan B or an alternative route to arrive at my destination.
My teen years showed me that the “nice guy does not always get the girl,” or in my case, I needed to substitute that with “never.”
As I entered my 20’s the world was changing in almost every way. The ideals that I based my dreams on were fading, not in my heart but in society. I started to recognize that the values, character, and thought process that made America the Shining City on the Hill that the Scriptures spoke about were abandoned. Not by our flag or constitution but by the citizens of this nation.
Those my age and slightly older, especially when coming from a suburban environment, rejected the values that, for the most part, made me and others of my ilk who we were.
There was an inflection point in my existence that had me straddle the idyllic hope of yesterday while still looking to the future. I had one foot in the past and the other in the yet-to-come.
This was not an easy time for me and led to confusion. Was I so wrong? Did I miss the target by a mile? Were a young boy’s mature thoughts nothing more than a fairy tale that I authored and no one else read?
I refused to believe that my life would not resemble what I had hoped, and that the exceptionalism of my beloved America would not embrace me. I did recognize that my plans would need some tweaking, but that was fine… my destination did not change, just the route.
The interesting thing about life is the farther you are on the journey, the conventional wisdom of the road getting smoother, and the hills lowered are rebuked in stark contrast.
This epiphany now forced me to take solace in drifting to the past, spending more time looking in the rearview mirror instead of through the windshield of life.
To be truthful, I did have some of my youthful plans play out with enough reality for me to at least recognize them. But their DNA needed to be searched for.
By now, I was a man and felt attached to but embarrassed by a boy’s dreams, though secretly still longing for them.
A confluence of events in my life brought me closer to our Savior. Yet my nature did not completely yield to His design. I was sure that I had a sound plan for my life. My subconscious was mired in convincing Him that the detours should be removed, and a series of green lights evoked.
It did not happen. This resulted in more disappointment. I was stuck with an unknown future in front of me. For the first time, well convinced, it was nowhere near as perfect as my dreams from the past.
My life was facing forward, but my head was twisted around, trying my best to get lost in the dreams of years gone by.
I fed this by listening to the music that I embraced during my era of hope and allowing my mind to get lost, intertwining the past and present.
As a Christian, I got to the point where I recognized this was not healthy and dishonored the Lord. My disappointment in God not blessing my plan was wrong. I needed to accept His story for my life from that moment on and ask for forgiveness of my disbelief.
This is my journey, but I know that though some elements will be different, it is the sojourn of many of you that are reading this.
It is so easy to miss and squander the fleeting moment that is the present before it turns into the past. Life’s experiences make it hard to look to the future with the zeal and anticipation of youth.
I am no longer caught between yesterday and tomorrow.
I still am the dreamer but have retired from being the scriptwriter of my life. I look forward with anticipation of His plan for my days.
I wish that peace to you.