We Dream On

13 04 2014

The year was 1968 and there was a whole lot going on in the world. The Vietnam War was in full swing, the civil rightsImage movement had taken to the streets in every major city in America, the Apollo Space Program was born, a man who had run for political seats several times in the past, only to lose each race, was elected president. Years later during his 2nd term he would be forced to leave office early in total disgrace. But I feel it goes without saying that the biggest events of that year was the assassinations of two of our beloved leaders, Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy; and the majority of country mourned as one from these terrible tragedies. Many history making events that’s for sure; but for a couple of young teenage boys in small-town Ohio it was a time of fun, mischief, and most of all, dreaming.

Take any early Fall Friday night and most of my classmates could be found at the high-school football game and then off to the after-game dance at the Y. But for me and my man Dave it was getting his older cousin to buy us a 6-pack of 3.2 PBR (For you young readers that was beer you could purchase at 18 in Ohio back then) then down to the river side with our acquired spirits, find a dark place to sit, look across the river into town, and just drink and talk. (Also try to keep from heaving from not being use to alcohol; never worked!) As we sat there in the night, our conversations would touch many subjects, school, music, girls, of course; but the heart of all we discussed would always be on our dreams, where we saw ourselves in the future and what we planned to do with the rest of our lives. For me the dream was always the same, to make music until my dying days. I just knew someday my name would be up there with the most famous musicians of all times and it would be there that I would leave my mark on history and mankind. My buddy Dave wanted to make it in music also, but he had many more dreams and plans, far more diverse than I could even comprehend at times, and all those dreams and plans, came from books. I have yet to ever find another person who could pick up some hardback manuscript like David and become completely immersed in the storyline. As we sat in the dark watching black water roll toward Lake Erie, he would tell me everything about the characters and theme of what he was reading at that time, not leaving out even the slightest detail. While he narrated all he read recently, I would look across the river and even imagine some of the people and events as he regaled on. I could see a man dressed in total black, riding a just as black motorcycle across the desert. I could hear the whistle blow on a warship coming home after a fierce battle at sea and watching sailors come ashore to the waiting arms of loved ones. Wherever his newest story took Dave, I was privileged to go along as he recounted everything with enthusiasm in his voice and a fire in his heart that said, “We’ll do that someday!” The beer would be gone and we’d head off to the after-game dance to act drunker than we really were to impress the girls (Ha Ha!), but we’d looked once more into the lights of our town across the waters, and we dreamed, believing one day that would be our reality.

Hard to believe and even say for that matter, but that moment in time was 46 years ago now. David and I went different directions both leaving our hometown, both perusing our dreams on separate courses. For my dear friend, well the dreams he spoke of never materialized as he had hoped and there were even a few setbacks I don’t feel the need to go into. But because of those dreams, because of his mind’s ability to learn and understand so thoroughly, he realized a gift he was strongest at, working and creating with his hands in a field that was rewarding to him for a time. And when he could no longer do the trade it was shown to others that he was well equipped to teach what he knew to young minds. Times have been tough occasionally, but with the love of his life that God has paired him with, he continues on, the dreamer, the fighter, the achiever.

As for the Gray One here, well I did chase my dream and actually caught it for a brief moment, just long enough to realize it was a life that I was not suited for as well as I thought and hoped. The making of music for many was as great as I had hoped, but the rest of what came into my life brought nothing but depression, and that was a price heavier than I chose to pay. I’ve continued to make music over the years but on a smaller venue and mostly in the arena of praise music to the Lord, something that has brought me more joy than I ever imagined. As for the rest of the story of this man’s life, well I learned a trade that I truly enjoy, one that would have my past science teachers from school days scratching their heads and saying, “Are we sure we’re talking about the same Miller?!!”

So to sum this all up, should we say that David and I were wrong to waste so much time being dreamers? Certainly not, I believe that dreams are truly a gift of God. For without the dreamers where would we be today in every field known to man? Robert Schuller is quoted as saying, “The only place where your dream becomes impossible is in your own thinking.” There’s a good reason God gave dreamers to the world and perhaps you’re one of them. Just a thought.

As always I have to wrap everything I write on around my belief in Christ and His goals for me, not mine. In that process I came to learn that just because my dreams didn’t come true, didn’t mean I was of no importance to others, myself and especially God.

In Jeremiah 29:11 we read, “For 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.”

If the Creator of the universe loves me enough to have a plan for my life, who am I to argue His ways for me aren’t as good as my ways, my dreams?

On early Fall nights back in 1968, I stared across a river peering into my hometown and dreaming of the future. Forty six years later I find myself still dreaming as I Travel the Rock Road. Now I look up into the night sky and think about Home, my eternal Home; and I dream about what that will be like some day. The songwriter sums it up for me like this;

I can only imagine

What it will be like

When I walk

By your side

 

I can only imagine

What my eyes will see

When your face

Is before me

I can only imagine

 

Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel

Will I dance for you Jesus or in awe of you be still

Will I stand in your presence or to my knees will I fall

Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all

I can only imagine

Until then, we dream on Brothers and Sisters, we dream on.


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