I had a spot of difficulty with today’s Daily Prompt: When you were 16, what did you think your life would look like? Does it look like that? Is that a good thing?
Doesn’t look like a hard one, does it? I’ve always been a dreamer, one to look ahead to the future – probably too much so. And I can recap on my past effortlessy. Probably too effortlessly. In fact, there’s just one hitch.
I’m not sixteen yet.
Give me a month and three days and I will be, but, yeah, it poses something of a problem with answering the prompt.
So I’m gonna do this backwards: I’m going to write what I hope my 36-year-old self will be like, and what she’ll think of my 16-year-old self. About the person I want to be, not the person I was. Because I want to grow, and it’s not easy, ’cause I’m not a very good little mustard seed. But like the mustard seed, with God’s help and grace, I can grow to be a great tree.
1. I dream…
… that my 36-year-old self will still be dreaming, about good horses and good stories and good cows, about her family and their futures together, about her farm and her life and where it’s going. Or about anything, really. Maybe my 36-year-old self won’t dream about the things she dreamed about 20 years ago. But she had better dream.
And most of all, she had better dream about the true things, the dreams that are guaranteed to come to pass. She had better dream about a war and a dying world, and a Lamb and a Throne and a Prince of Peace coming on His great white horse to save the day and sweep her off to His Kingdom. She had better dream of a fountain of living water and a tree of life, of a King and a City and a shining, shining Light.
The only way my 36-year-old self will be let off dreaming those things will be if her Prince has already come and she’s already curled up on His lap in His country. Because then she won’t have to dream about anything anymore. She will live a dream every day, and she will be happy, happy, happy.
2. I hope…
… that my 36-year-old self will look back 20 years and say, “Thank the Lord I’m not still her.”
Don’t get me wrong. I’m a happy person, and I’m happy to be me, because God made me, hand-crafted me with love, so I am me and I am okay. But I am still a sinner. I sin in fear, in doubt, in plain laziness; I probably sin not even knowing I’m doing it, apart even from the transgression I notice.
I don’t want to ever stop striving. I want to keep pushing onwards and upwards, reaching for the stars and beyond. I want to go further up and further in; I want to outdo myself constantly, to fight a good fight and run a good race. I want to be as perfect as I can be in the grace of Christ Jesus, and it’s only Him who can make this sorry piece of humanity something glorious to His Name.
3. I trust…
… that my 36-year-old self will be even closer to God’s love than I am now. I trust that she will draw nearer and nearer to God and know Him better and better. I trust that she will strive harder for Him, to love Him and love everyone else, man and beast.
4. Smaller dreams
I have smaller dreams, too. I dream that my novel will hit the world like a tornado and become an NYT bestseller and become a movie and touch thousands and thousands of lives, and do so with the blessing of Christ, spread His word, inspire people and exhort them in their quest for Him – or perhaps even turn a wayward heart back onto the straight and narrow road.
I dream that I will train a fantastic young horse and love it and ride it and go to the Olympics, perhaps not Rio, perhaps in 2020, and jump there. And I dream that if I do my country proud and someone – anyone – asks the key to success, I will say, “Jesus.”
I dream that I will breed a National Champion Jersey heifer with a golden heart and golden milk and golden coat, because Jerseys are just gold all round.
5. Bottom line
But all those are little dreams.
I hope most of all that in twenty years’ time, I’ll be on the straight and narrow path. I’ll still hold tight to Jesus’s Hand; I’ll still rest in His love. I’ll still graze His green pastures. I’ll be unafraid to walk in the valley of the shadow of death, to be cast into the furnace or lions’ den, because I’ll still love Him.
He’s all that counts. And here and now, Sir, when I’m sixteen, when I haven’t written enough words or lived enough days to know even a speck of what I need to know and what You want me to know… Here and now when I’m sixteen, I’m sure of one thing, one immovable rock, one unbreakable shield against the perils of life.
I’m sure of this, and may I always be sure of it:
I love You, Lord Jesus.