Supreme Ambition Ministries

To Know Christ and to Make Him Known – Philippians 3:10

MY JOURNEY 14

An Impossible Dream

spain.jpgDid I mention that Kathi and I have wonderful Children and grandchildren?  Yeah!  I thought I did.  It is seldom overkill to mention something a few times, especially when one is speaking fact.  One proof among many was when our daughter, Stacye, and her husband, Fernando, took us to Spain.  You see, Fernando is from Spain.  He came to the United States as an exchange student his junior year in high school.  He played basketball and played for the state championship in West Virginia.  Later, Marshall University gave him a scholarship and he stayed in the States to go to school.  It was while he attended Marshall that Stacye met him.  They married a few years later and, have given us two wonderfully, spirited young boys of whom we are very proud.

Periodically, Fernando goes to Spain to visit his parents, sister, and brother.  A few years ago he invited Kathi and me to go along.  It had been a dream of Kathi’s, since she was in high school, to see Spain with a native.  Kathi majored in Spanish in College, and has retained a deep love for the country to this day.  We had hoped to use some inheritance to finance the trip, but circumstances were such that we could not.  One day in the spring of 2003 I spoke with Stacye on the phone and told her we would not be able to go.  I assured her, when the money was available we would put some back for the trip.  She was disappointed, but very understanding.  In just a few hours she called back and said she had spoken to Fernando.  He said, “Stacye, the only way your parents aren’t going to Spain with us is if the Lord tells your Dad not to go.”  He continued, “I had intended to pay for everything anyway.”  How excited do you think we were?  From the time Kathi was 16 years old she had an ‘impossible dream’ to go to see Spain with a native.  How just like Jesus it was to allow her to see this beloved land with a beloved Native, our son-in-law.  A bonus for us was that we were not to be merely tourists, but rather, guests of Fernando’s family in their home about an hour and a half north of Madrid in the little village of Pozaldez (400 people). (Below is the train station in Pozaldez). train-pozaldez.jpg Fernando’s father is the mayor, and we got to see his installation service.  Spain is a beautiful country with a rich history in culture, arts, religion, and culinary delights.

It seemed there was a castle on nearly every hill.  Seriously, almost everywhere we looked there were reminders of ages long ago.  From ancient ruins, outdoor markets and cafes, to walled cities, evidence of civilizations from the past rose from the fertile plains and virtually begged to be explored.  Fortunately, we had a few days to skim the surface of this precious adventure.  Interestingly, some of the most enduring memories for me were the smells and sounds.  One day a shepherd and his sheep wandered by our home (Kathi loves sheep, and she squealed as we ran outside and struck up a conversation with the Shepherd).  All the while we were being kept at bay by a very protective Border collie.  Walking the quaint, old, brick streets, and hearing the echoes of voices along the narrow corridors of the hamlets and villages caused me to pause and wonder, if I might have heard the ‘clacking’ of horses’ hoofs as a Roman platoon made its way toward me.  Perhaps the most delightful of all were the many unique aromas that stirred our senses as we passed by the outdoor cafes and bakeries.

As you can see, I can have quite an imagination.  That might be expected, since I think I have a little Don Quiote in my blood.  For those of you who don’t know, Don Quote is the valiant fighter of windmills from the great classic by the same name, and written by Miguel Cervantes.  The story was made into the long-running Broadway musical, “The Man of La Mancha”.  The song made famous by that musical is “The Impossible Dream”.  Kathi and I had that song at our wedding.  I keep the lyrics taped inside the front flap of my Bible. don-quiote.jpg

To dream the impossible dream, to fight the unbeatable foe,

To bear with unbearable sorrow, to run where the brave dare not go,

To right the unrightable wrong, to love pure and chaste from afar,

to try when your arms are too weary to reach the unreachable star.

 

This is my quest to follow that star, no matter how hopeless, no matter how far.

To fight for the right without question or pause, to be willing to march into hell for a heavenly cause.

And I know if I’ll only be true to this glorious quest, that my heart will lie peaceful and calm, when I’m laid to my rest.

And the world will be better for this, that one man scorned and covered with scars,

Still strove with his last ounce of courage, to reach the unreachable stars. 

I mention this song because of a beautiful gift from our Lord while we journeyed through Spain.  We took an overnight avila.jpgtrip to the beautiful walled city of Avila, where St. Teresa had intimate communion with Christ.  We traversed the entire city wall and then paused to do some shopping.  I found two silver-plated statues of Don Quiote and Sancho Panza (The former’s Squire).  With some encouragement from our daughter and my wife, I purchased them and they provide inspiration for me as they sit in my office today.  We walked from the shop to an old restaurant for the evening meal.  This place was really old, dating back to about 1200-1300 A.D.  It was a part of the wall of the city.  When we walked in we were greeted and seated.  No sooner had we been seated than over their music system was played the “Impossible Dream”.  I was in tears, along with Kathi and Stacye.  Fernando got in on the joy as well.  He exclaimed very excitedly, “You just bought the Quiote!”  All of us knew that we had just been a part of a “God thing”.

                As I review these words and look back over my life to this point, I see many reasons why the Lord would have done such an impossible thing for us on this journey.  The miraculous nature of my birth,  the healing of my stammering tongue,  the remarkable salvation experience at Marshall University, the unusual way in which he got Kathi and me together, the marvelous ways he has provided for us through the years are only a few of the many instances in which God has done the impossible for us.  Couple all of that with the few battles and struggles we have faced in the ministry, and therein lays a prescription for an Impossible Dream. 

                I have had a dream from my college days that the Church would return to Christ the same kind of passion he has shown for us.  I have gone against the tide of ‘Churchianity’, found both in some dead orthodoxy and some fanatical spirituality.  I have issued the clarion call and challenged Christians to know the joy of intimacy with a living Lord in the corporate setting of a connected Church.  I have stood my ground against a progressive spirituality, which tends to leave solid Biblical teaching by the side of the road.  I have pressed past the entrenched carnal attitudes of the “Seven last words of the Church (We never did it that way before).  I have tried to be willing to march into hell for the heavenly cause.  I have been beaten, battered, and broken.  My dream…well, it’s still out there on the horizon somewhere.  Often I have been tempted to quit, saying, “What’s the use?”  However, I know my dream may seem impossible, but with God…all things are possible.  So…though my foe seems unbeatable, and my sorrow often seems unbearable…My scars are too deep, and the star is… well…just too far away.  However, I join the vision of the Lord of La Mancha…and say to my squire, “Sancho, My sword!  My shield!  There are yet more adventures before I rest.  Why do I continue on?  HE IS THE GOD OF THE IMPOSSIBLE!

November 3rd, 2008 Posted by | Biographical | 2 comments