It’s a wonderful thing to have hopes and dreams. We are encouraged and given the strength to press on during times of hardship many times by reminding ourselves that we don’t plan to be where we are forever. If you are a planner, then you have likely plotted the manner in which you intend to get to that destination. As for me, I’m always happiest with a plan in place.
The thing about hopes and dreams and even plans is they usually involve other people. Other people can sure mess the plans up! Have you ever noticed? Just when you’ve got it all worked out, neat and tidy, another person, with their own choices (sometimes stubborn and foolish) derails your train of thought.
To add insult to injury, if these people were in a position to derail us, they are likely people we care deeply about. We’re talking your own children, your closest friends, family members that matter to you. We’re talking people whom you love, whom you want to provide for, whom you want only the best for.
Sometimes we refuse to walk away from the spot where it all went wrong. We may spend all of our energy trying to get that train going again, determined it will get back on track and arrive where we are sure it was destined to arrive. Finally, we realize, this messed up dream just isn’t going anywhere and we can dissolve into discouragement or turn our gaze in a new direction.
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:18, 19 NIV)
With the holidays upon us, we find ourselves placing lots of importance on TRAYditions, as my sweet grandma called them. It can be a good thing to treasure precious moments and memories. But, if we aren’t cautious we won’t have enough room in our hearts for the present, the new moments, the new direction that the Lord has placed before us.
One of the hardest train wrecks to walk away from is the horrific point of a wrecked relationship. Whatever the cause of the derailment, you find yourself bewildered, hurt, angry, confused, perhaps even bitter. These people you trusted have betrayed you. They weren’t who you thought they were. If you’re their momma you might even say you didn’t raise them that way. If you loved them deeply, now that they are gone, you hurt deeply. That’s the thing with love.
Don’t spend the holidays thinking of what could have been or should have been. Don’t be as stubborn as the people that have disappointed you by refusing to do what you said you would never do. Don’t miss a chance to hop on board a new train of opportunity, headed a new direction. The same verse above reads this way in The Message.
“Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? There it is! I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands.”
So when the family gathers and in the days to come we enter this holiday season, things may not look just like you always hoped and dreamed. Let it go. Turn your gaze in a new direction. Anticipate something brand spanking new!