“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Rom. 8:28 NIV)
I had the strangest dream last night. I was walking down a dirt road with snowy woods on either side of me. I was all alone. The road seemed to go on forever. I couldn’t see another person anywhere. All at once, however, I saw someone walking towards me in the distance. As this person got closer and closer I realized that it was me. It was me from many years ago, fresh faced and young. I could see in his mind all the dreams and hopes that he had too. They had, after all, once been my own.
I was overjoyed. I had so many things I wanted to say to this younger me. I wanted to spare him the trials I had gone through, the pain I had suffered, and the mistakes I had made. I wanted to share with him all that I had learned over the long years of my life. I wanted to show him how his life would turn out so much differently than what he had thought and hoped it would, but that it would be so much better and happier than the path he was now on. I wanted him not to waste so many years on the things his ego thought were so vital but instead to realize that love was the most important thing in this life.
I opened my mouth to say all of these things but couldn’t. I realized at that moment that even if I told him he wouldn’t believe me. He would have to walk the road I had walked, learn the things I had learned, and go through all I had gone through. He would have to find God in his own way and in his own time. I let him walk on by and watched as he disappeared in the distance. Then I turned to continue on my own way and woke up.
In this life there are no shortcuts. We all have to walk the road. We all have to travel through sorrow as well as joy. We all have to learn to love. We all have to grow into who we were meant to be. It takes our whole lives. Yet, it is a journey worth making.
Joseph J. Mazzella