My mom, Linda; sister, Sunshine; and Shiney’s boyfriend, Charlie spent 6 days driving to, wandering around and returning from the Black Hills of South Dakota and Wyoming. We hit all the local sights: the Bandlands State Park, Mount Rushmore National Monument, Needles Highway, Custer State Park, Wind Cave State Park, The Crazy Horse Monument, Deadwood and Devil’s Tower National Monument.
I’ve been wracking my brain to find a life lesson from this vacation but I have been coming up empty. Really, it shouldn’t be this difficult. Don’t we have lessons to learn every day? I haven’t found any deep lessons yet but maybe the lesson isn’t such a profound one, instead, a simple one that I find recurring in my life of late: don’t give up on your dreams.
Charlie is 44 years old. It has been his dream since childhood to see Mount Rushmore. Well, he did it, he finally got there! His pure, absolute joy at seeing those stone faces was a delight to witness. It was genuine and heartfelt. He was excited so deep in his spirit it shone out of his face and tinged his voice with amazement.
If Charlie can achieve his dream, why can’t I? (Or for that matter, why can’t we all?) Why have I decided that none of my childhood dreams are worth having much less pursuing? Why have I let cynicism and hopelessness rule me? My brain knows this comes straight from the pit of hell, so why can’t I deny these thoughts? I suppose my experience tells me otherwise…but, wait, didn’t I create my experience? I believe I had a fair amount of control over my life experiences through choices, attitudes, activities, friends, feelings. So it would seem then that my experiences have been skewed by my faulty perception of reality. Ephesians 3:20 says “now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams.]” This is an accurate reality. God has a plan for me that exceeds even my own dreams! I need to prayerfully alter my skewed experience and get it realigned with the word of the most loving God. Only then can I achieve my childhood dreams and beyond.
Charlie at Mount Rushmore National Monument. As soon as Mount Rushmore came into view we stopped along the highway at the first available pull out. This was Charlie just minutes after getting his first glimpse of the faces.