We’re quickly approaching the end of summer. Today is what I like to refer to as a transitional Friday of both new beginnings and closing of doors. Many will be settling in to new routines as children are back to school and extracurricular activities begin. On the flip side, some will take advantage of closing the door on summer with a final trip to the beach or even a getaway for a few days before life accelerates once again.
The dog days of summer continue to show their teeth with excessive heat seemingly biting at us for the past three months. It’s been grueling to say the least. I chuckle as well as frown as I recall a recent meme I saw on Facebook. The caption read, God, I’m not sure what you’re baking, but it’s done!
For me, this weekend will be a celebration of my 65th birthday. I’ve never really looked forward to my birthday because it was at the end of summer. It was a lazy time of the year as youth sports had come to a halt and wouldn’t start up again until after Labor Day. As we were still on summer vacation break from school, I never had a birthday party at school. As my wife’s grandfather used to say, it’s just another day.
Last night as I was looking through some books, I came across a book given to me by one of my children. It was a gift for either my birthday or possibly for Christmas. The book, God’s Little Lessons for Dad is special to me. Not only because it was a gift, but also because of the stories about so many things we experience day in and day out. The stories are all lessons. Looking back, I regret not having picked it up more often and shared some of the stories with my children.
Anyway, today is a new beginning in that regard as I realize I’m looking at things a little differently today. Maybe it’s because 65 seems to be just such a milestone. I know, 65 is supposed to be the new 45 or whatever, but 65 is 65. I think back to when I was a teenager and 65 seemed so far off. 65 seemed so old.
Of late, as many do as we get older, I’ve started to reflect upon dreams. They have been more on my mind the past few weeks, again as summer and it’s heat have seemingly joined together as it has been just one long, long day. Boredom had set in and with it, a great deal of thought and reflection. As such, dreams settled in at the front of my thoughts.
So, is it ironic, coincidental that as I picked up this book last night and opened it, a story about dreams was right there in front of me? I’ve always been a firm believer that things happen for a reason. What really struck me was the chapter’s focus was Success with a story about Dreams.
Of course, I talk and write a lot about success and try to be as motivating as I can for the benefit of others. I often think I should have been more of a student and practiced what I’ve preached.
Maybe it’s just reflecting because of my birthday or maybe even more likely it’s because I’m feeling sorry for myself for not achieving all I would have liked to achieve. Sadly, I can’t recall any dreams that I may have had. Goals, yes. Dreams, no. I also can’t recall anyone ever telling me I could achieve whatever dream I had in mind. But, I could have told myself.
In any event, here I am today reading through this story about success and dreams and feel compelled to share it here today. Maybe I’m doing so more for me, but I do believe others will find it motivating and inspirational as I have found it to be.
Actually, the story has me looking at things a bit different this morning. I’m not too old to dream. I’m not too old to accomplish another goal. However, I do realize if it’s to be, it’s up to me!
I also realize that I’m not too old to inspire my children (they’re not too old to listen) as well as my grandchildren to dream and help them realize that if their success is to be, it will be up to them. But I do know they will all be great at whatever they put their mind to. I will make sure to remind and encourage them quite often.
Who gives you your dreams?
When Luciano Pavarotti was a little boy, he used to climb into his grandmother’s lap, and she would tell him, “You’re going to be great, you’ll see.” His grandmother’s dream for him, however, was to become a banker.
Pavarotti started out as a schoolteacher, singing infrequently at special events. His father chided him for being so timid, and challenged him to develop the full potential of his voice.
At age twenty-two, Pavarotti stopped teaching, and fully committed himself to singing. He sold insurance part-time while he took voice lessons.
Now that he’s one of the world’s leading vocalists, Pavarotti is happy to credit his voice teachers for his success. But he makes sure to add praise for his father and grandmother.
Alluding to his father, he says, “Studying voice was the turning point of my life. It’s a mistake to take the safe path in life.” Then he adds, with a twinkle in his eye, “My teachers groomed me. But no teacher told me I would become famous. Just my grandmother.”
Someone in your life has given you a spark of confidence so you can achieve your best. And someone will give your children that same spark. Could it be you?
“I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”Jeremiah 29;11
Have a great day. Make it happen. Make it count!