An Encouraging Word — A healthy imagination

Father J. Ronald Knott
Father J. Ronald Knott

If the vision delays, wait for it, it will surely come. Habakkuk 2:3

I am a dreamer, a fantasizer, a visionary and an idealist. From childhood, I have been blessed with a vivid imagination. I have always identified with the words of George Bernard Shaw, famously quoted by President John F. Kennedy: “You see things; and you say ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say ‘Why not?’ ”

Here is something I wrote for my cathedral parishioners back in the 1980s to keep us focused on the project at hand — restoring the parish and renovating the property. I named it “The Dream.”

“Translating a dream into reality takes great courage. Doubt is a constant enemy. When doubt reigns, there is a strong temptation to let go of part of the dream as a way of resolving inevitable tensions. Success depends on the ability to remain enthusiastic, focused and purposeful to the end.”

That dream came true — in spades.

Not all dreams come true as we imagine them. Often, looking back over my own life, I thank God I did not always get what I wanted because what God wanted for me was even better.

Author Shannon Alder, in one of my favorite quotes, said this about letting go of smaller dreams to embrace larger ones: “A Plan B life can be just as good or better than a Plan A life. You just have to let go of that first dream and realize that God has already written the first chapter of the new life that awaits you. All you have to do is start reading!” I could not agree more.

Pearl Buck, a writer and activist said, “You can judge your age by the amount of pain you feel when you come into contact with a new idea.”

Ernie Zelinski, an author and life coach, said, “Most people who reach 65 or beyond look back on their lives in later years with regret. They wish they hadn’t been as concerned about the little things and had spent more time doing the things they had wanted to do.”

If that is what has happened to you, or appears that it might be happening to you, Jon Krakauer, a writer and outdoors man, has the cure.

“Make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservation, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. If you want to get more out of life, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security,” Krakauer said.

For dreamers like me, to die old with a young mind would be the ultimate icing on the cake.

Father J. Ronald Knott

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