When things are looking mighty bleak or just plain sad, it helps to look ahead or otherwise find new horizons. A friend of mine is dealing with some rather large changes in her life and one of our children finds himself wanting to look ahead to a less constricted and limited lifestyle. In my way of thinking, a type of hope can be found in travel or in looking for other places to live--whether in imagination or in reality. So, I have invited my friend to visit Texas and look over some of the scenery. Now I can't give the child a different outlook as easily other than to tell him that the place he is dreaming about DOES exist, even if we don't own a piece of it. We at least know some folks who live there and maybe they will invite him out to visit.
One of the things I have learned about lately is the reason for bus loads of old folks--widows, widowers, and older couples who don't do much driving--to be found on the highways and byways. It is the simple need to get away from the same four walls for a bit for a change of perspective, attitude adjustment, or just plain fun and companionship. We get pretty dadgummed stale sitting here day after day on our tails. If you don't believe me, just ask any activity director in any nursing home or senior retirement center. Folks need a change of pace from time to time. The same can be said of folks who work day after day at any job. Vacations simply are not enough time to really help a working man take a breather--even if he has two weeks and plenty of cash to spend. Old folks don't take vacations. One day is about like another in their lives. Whoopty big doo...Pretty hard to look forward to the weekend when it looks the same as Monday or Wednesday except for lack of mail.
Back when my parents were going through this period of life, they told me about all the farms they "owned" at different places in Texas and about all the chickens and cows that they were raising. I understood that they were dreaming about being in different circumstances without the work and other hardships that go along with living in the country. Then many days during the hot summer or the coldest frozen winters, Dad would say how happy he was that he did not have to take care of any animals or cut ice on the tanks for them to have water. Reality is not nearly as much fun as our day dreams. But day dreams are an essential part of our lives, in my opinion. The dream of visiting Normandy and Whithorn in Scotland are two of my latest dreams. And then, if it is possible, I want our daughter to get to go with me to see the Louvre in France. Two women turned loose in France to see the sights! We should have a ball!
One of these days the world may fall down and gasp to have peace and prosperity for all its inhabitants. That will probably be the day that Christ Himself will walk this earth again. Until then, we can only follow the hope that we can imagine for ourselves. Anything as big as peace just seems more than unrealistic!