Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground” (Theodore Roosevelt). 

Having run a few errands, our son Ian returned home with several bags and a story.

Now, it’s my personal opinion that parents have done something right when they’ve taught a child to dream big, and, yet, live humbly–to reach for the stars while finding joy in Life’s fine and real and raw gift of the present.

I must admit–I’ve not always led by example. Honestly, I’ve allowed some of my biggest dreams to dwindle, choosing instead the path of pride rather than the oft up-hill climb of humility. (And what kills a dream more quickly than pride?)

No doubt. I’ve fallen short too many times. My best hope is that I’ve, at the very least, planted seeds and encouraged my children to live with eyes and ears wide open to possibilities. To be grateful. And yes, hopefully, to find the balance to humbly dream.

As Ian unloaded his truck and carried in dog and cat food, as well as the milk and other grocery items, he smiled. “I went to Goodwill today. Found some flannels t00.”

“Really?” I answered. “Good for you!” (I admit I have led by example in my love for a bargain at Goodwill and other thrift stores.)

“Yeah, and there’s something else,” he continued. “There was a piano in the store, and while I was there, a 6-year old boy sat down and began to play. People started gathering around and taking photos.” My son’s eyes twinkled as he recalled the experience. “I even heard a lady as I was walking out. She was on her phone telling someone about the ‘concert’ she’d just been to. It was awesome!”

“That’s really neat,” I answered. “Did you recognize the boy?”

“No, I’ve never seen him before.”

And that seemed somehow fitting to me. A nameless (at least to us) boy in our humble, small town Goodwill sharing his gift–birthed, very likely, from a dream, not to mention his parent’s persistent prodding and a piano teacher’s encouragement.

A boy who likely groaned and moaned when his momma told him they were going shopping–to buy a new pair of jeans or summer shorts or swimming trunks. (What little boy actually enjoys clothes shopping?)

And still, he experienced a ‘Shopping-Trip-Turned-Piano-Recital’–right there in a consignment store. He and other shoppers were, no doubt, surprised with joy.

As the boy played and others watched and listened, joy came in the delight of sharing a gift. For others, including our son, joy came in receiving it.

Such was, for both Boy and audience–

The gift of a dream realized.

The gift of a dream hoped for.

The gift of a song given.

The gift of song received.

Truly, the gift of humble cheer and goodwill–which truly does, over time, encourage each of us to dream.

Humble yourselves before the LORD, and he will lift you up” (James 4:10).

What are your dreams? What can you do today that will take you one step closer to their fulfillment? Remember–share the gifts that fuel your dreams with others, and be surprised by joy.

Dear Jesus, thank you for such experiences and opportunities. Thank you for being the Giver of all good and precious gifts. Remind us to live with eyes and ears open to possibility, and help us dream–believing that, as we delight ourselves in You, You will give us the desires of our hearts (Ps. 37:4). Amen. 


(This story was previously posted on 6/9/14 on Facebook.)