Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.
-Harriet Beecher Stowe-
April 7, 2017
It was late summer some 15 years ago, my wife and I accompanied my Brother and his family on a trip to visit the Indiana Dunes, State Park. Here in the Greater Chicagoland area, the dunes are a big deal as we don’t have an ocean like the coasts do.
My nephew would have been around five years old and we told him that we were going to take a long drive to visit the dunes. We painted a picture of the sands and the lake waters that he was sure to enjoy, a picture that his young mind had never envisioned. As most children are want to do, it wasn’t long before he began to ask questions like, “are we there yet?” “How much longer?” “Will we arrive today?” “What do the dunes look like again?”
After about a dozen such questions my brother asked him to please enjoy the ride and be patient, to which my young nephew annoyingly responded, “I don’t think that there’s such a thing as the dunes!” We can learn a valuable lesson from this five-year-old who is now in college studying for his future.
My nephew’s annoyance came from the fact that he had been infused with a dream, a vision. He was going to experience something his young mind never knew existed. He was going to receive a payoff unlike any he’d ever experienced. His life would be forever changed when he would walk the sandy beaches of Lake Michigan on the shores of the Indiana Dunes. But, he had to wait, he had to believe, and he had to work and it was all taking too long to arrive.
The work and the wait came in the form of sitting quietly in the back seat of that mini-van, which to a five-year-old must have begun to feel like an eternity. Traveling a long road which he had never traveled before, unable to see the road ahead from his back seat vantage point, and having no control over any of the circumstances in which he found himself. That must have been a task of monumental proportions for this little boy eager to see a sight that he could only imagine from the pictures we had painted with our words.
The belief? Believing that his father knew where he was going, that we would arrive, and all of the promises made to him would come true once we did. It was all too much for his five-year-old mind to hang onto so in his despair he did what any of us would do in a similar hopeless situation, he gave up hope, he gave up the dream, and he quite believing. “I don’t think that there’s such a thing as the dunes!”
I don’t know what you’re working towards, what you’re believing for, or what you’re waiting for but don’t give up. If you have a dream, a hope, a desire, or a vision just keep plugging away.
Like my nephew in the back of that van sometimes you may feel as though you’re no longer in control, nothing is going how you expected, the road ahead is one you’ve never traveled, don’t lose your faith. Keep moving forward no matter how small each step may be. Don’t let yourself say, “I don’t think that my dream will ever come true!” Because unlike my nephew riding in the back of that van, no one is going to take you to your dream, you have to get there on your own.
I’m happy to say that we did arrive at the Indiana Dunes State Park and that it was exactly what we had expected it to be. To me, it has become more than I ever expected that trip to be. I learned a lesson from my five-year-old Nephew that I am now sharing with you, his expression of lost hope, dreams, and belief is one I have shared many times over the years with many people, it is a memory that keeps me going when the times are tough, when I want to quit or lose my faith. I hope that it will keep you going until you reach the sandy shores that you seek.