I believe hope to be one of the greatest assets on earth. Hope tells a narrative where the past meets up with the future somewhere in the land of “Dreams do come true” and “All things are possible to him that believes” (Jesus Christ).
The idea of limitless possibilities has been impressed upon me from a young age. In homeschool, like many other childhood education programs, my school’s principal and teachers (my parents) wanted to prepare their kids to be anything wholesome they desired to be. I recall family weekends at home:
Daddy would bring home movie projector films from the library.
I remember us kids embarking upon the stack of movie reels on the counter top. We’d go through the titles of movies to get an idea of what we would be watching that weekend. You knew there’d be an “educational video,” and if you didn’t know, you should’ve known.
I can re-imagine a night where my dad would start off the movie marathon with the educational film. My brothers and sisters would prop themselves up on the benches, sofas, floor — anywhere. The air-conditioner was working just fine. And the count down from the projector would begin.
You’d see a 1980s color film about a lady who had no arms. Whether she was born that way, I don’t recall, but she was handling her situation like a pro.
This lady could drive her own vehicle solely using her feet. She’d shop at the grocery store, picking up items so gracefully she could’ve been a gymnast.
I mean, it was an amazing story, though educational. Films like this didn’t give us kids a thrill to watch, but it was food for the soul, food for the unsuspecting minds that unconsciously founded you with a sense that there were no boundaries to what is possible in life. If you worked at it, you could do amazing things — anyone could.
Do you ever remember being asked the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
I have posed this question to children countless times without thinking of its meaning and inferences. Does this question refer to what kind of person you want to be when you grow up? Or an occupation?
More often than not, the usual response to the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” is one occupation. Now the responses can vary depending on the person and may even be synonymous.
On a personal level, as I have crossed over into my 30s, I have of late thought to myself, “Am I the person I thought I would be?
I used to feel sad for the child who wanted to grow up to be an artist but was encouraged not to make it a career choice only because “Not many people earn a living by being an artist.”
To me, that was the equivalent of telling your child that he could not fulfill his dreams. But let’s dive deeper into this situation. The artist who loved to paint when he was 6 years old grows up to be an electrician, all the while crafting his artistic skills.
He is now retired and hosts art workshops at the boys and girls club. Is he less of an artist than the artist whose paintings are hanging on the wall of The Art Institute of Chicago? They are both artists in their own right. Engaging the beauty of color to create meaningful displays is something the artist will do naturally and may continue to do while pursuing art or other occupations.
God has gifted each one of us with unique desires, abilities and inclinations.
The Bible says, “God has made us what we are. In Christ Jesus, God made us new people so that we would spend our lives doing the good things he had already planned for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10 ERV).
Acknowledging the one who created us (Prov 3:5-6) and trusting in a savior who made all things possible for those who believe, we can realize our fullest potential. Those skills, unique abilities and attributes we have knitted to the core of us, we can dream of realizing them in hope.
Hope places a doorstop on our dreams that when opportunity knocks, we can tell it to come right in.
Quote of the month: That can’t eat, can’t sleep, reach for the stars over the fence, world series kind of love (Diane Barrows, from “It Takes Two.”
Precious Angel Kelly, a native of Rantoul, writes a Christian-based monthly column. She welcomes correspondence at firstname.lastname@example.org