you managed to find a poem in the bible! No wonder simon & garfunkel turned it into a song.
Little girls dream of getting married. Big white dresses. Tiaras. Bridesmaids. Flowers. We see it as our chance to be a princess, if only for a day.
Of course, when you’re a little girl, you imagine that day will come when you’re in your early 20’s, fresh out of college. You imagine a darling little house with a white picket fence. You see two children playing in the yard. Flowers and a tire swing. A dog named Rover and a cat named Fluffy. In this dream, you know the recipe for every delicious cookie and cake. You have the magic words to make boo-boos go away, and can calm hurt feelings with a brush of your hand through your child’s hair. Basically, you’re Donna Reed, Doris Day and Florence Nightingale all rolled into one. Oh, and you look like Marilyn Monroe.
But life happens, and it’s rarely just like your childhood dreams. Sometimes it’s better.
As a child you cannot imagine that joy can follow tragedy. You cannot fathom that from great sorrow, can come great joy. It is beyond comprehension that when life beats you down, you will ever soar at great heights again. Yet, that is exactly what happens. The soul is a resilient thing. We are multi-faceted. We have the ability to learn from the past, and even hold onto it, while we move forward to new and exciting things. We can smile again, laugh again, even love again.
As Psalm 30 says, “For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.”
As children we cannot see that our “perfect” dream is actually flawed. That without having been through tough times, we can never truly be grateful for the good ones. That without loss, we sometimes do not learn to appreciate what we have. We have been through tough times. We have been through excruciating times. We have been through times that we thought we could not survive. We are still here. We are smiling, laughing, loving again. The people and circumstances of our past are not forgotten, for they have formed us to be who we are today. They are part of the fabric of our being.
In Ecclesiastes we learn that…
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
God made everything to have balance, an opposite side. Through this we learn to recognize the value of all that we are given, all that we earn, and all that is done. We learn to be grateful for reality.
As a little girl, dreams may have been other than reality, but in reality there are dreams we could never have imagined. And sometimes our childhood dreams enmesh with our reality, allowing for big white dresses, tiaras, flowers, bridesmaids, and feeling like a princess. And in those intertwined dreams are happiness, laughter, and love.
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