Dreamer, Awaken and lift up thine heart to the horizon
where sprawls the unspoken, unpainted not-YET-
composed canvas of your Divine Creativity.
I am a little tired but so...focused and humbled.
The best moment of the Reunion was walking up to the crowd that was just hanging out and the pandemonium that broke out when they realized who I was. Becky Jenkis almost hugged my neck off. I hadn't seen most of my classmates since we walked out of the stadium at Graduation on June 2nd 1989. I had just turned 18 the day before and would be baptised 2 days later.
We lost 1 classmate our Senior Year, and then another a few yrs later. I was saddened to learn that we had lost yet another. 93 remain. I, along with Eric, were neck-and-neck for skinniest in High School. We both are teachers and are both twice the man we were then,lol!
Only a fraction showed up for the reunion. Every one of us seemed to be what I would call successful. Teachers, counselors, engineers, moms, dads, coaches, real estate agents, accountants, Pastors, and pastor's wives...we have every career covered. And of those attending, a large number are now believers. I was most proud of and impacted by Scott Carnes, proud father of twin toddlers, who came with his French Canadian wife whom he met at an Airshow he was attending. Scott was shot-down in Iraq as a pilot several years ago and confined to a wheelchair. He was so full of joy and plans and LIFE. He's neck deep in building a family and planning for his return to work. He really made me look at my work ethic and perspective on obstacles. Do I complain about challenges that God placed there to make me stronger?
My conversation with now Pastor Jason Hunter really stuck with me, too. I have been a believer since around 8 or so. My faith was the one thing that got me thru the next 30 years. Jason said that he was glad to see me so much more passionate about Christ now. It made me wonder if anyone even knew during the 1st 10 yrs of my walk that I was a follower of jesus Christ. I immediately wished I could go back and influence them for Christ back then.
I was pretty successful "politically" in High School which began in 7th grade for us (7-12). My Senior year I no one even ran against me for all the presidencies I had been filling since Junior year. I had lots of "friends" Jason made me wonder if I wasted that influnce back then or if people knew I was a believer by how I loved them. Or did they know I loved them?
I know that those relationships were my favorite part of that time. New friends to love and do life with every year. Listening, a lot. Helping friends thru what we thought were crises.
One comment, above all the others encourages me daily since I heard it at the reunion that night. Tony Sutton expressed something rather surprising. Tiffany Hammond and I were voted "Most likely to Succeed." But I think we all did succeed. Tony said at one point "Rick, you were the one we expected to arrive in a helicopter or something crazy." It made me remember how my HS best friend, James West had written something similar in my yearbook. He wrote that he knew I would do great things, maybe even run for President and that he'd cast the first vote for me.
What I heard in Tony's comment, and James', was my clasmates, my friends dreaming BIG for me. Sometime in the last 10 years I finally shed ALL of the shyness of the kid my classmates knew until 1989. I have little fear, but still lots of butterflies, when teaching, singing or speaking to groups of people, large or small. I actually get a thrill from the influence possible in teaching, public speaking, and especially in worship leading. But somewhere along the way I realize I stopped dreaming ANYTHING is possible for me. Not that I've settled. The last 20 years have been fuller than I hoped my whole life would be.
But do I still think I can DO or BE anything I dream? Even though I was shy I remember my turmoil even after picking a major finally at the end of my Sphomore year of College... because I still couldn't pick just one thing. I still wanted to be an astronaut, AND a doctor, AND a lawyer, AND a diplomat (Ambassador to France more specifically). And in 1989 you could never have convinced me I was "unable" to achieve any of these...IF I set my mind to it.
My question to myself since Tony shocked my "dreamer" back awake is "Do I still dream extravagantly for the future or do I just hope my life will be averagely good?"
I mean I wonder if I have let my search for and obedience to God's will for my life and future become something external instead of internal. I mean I know that I know that I know that I'm called to Missions in France. I'd leave tomorrow if I got the rest of my monthly funding. But I used to set goals for myself in relationships, in learning, in teaching, and in leisure and fun. I think part of me realized that maybe I'v given up on finding my wife and building a family like so many of my classmates and friends. I was actually thinking on the drive home from the Reunion, and the wedding I had attended earlier that day, that I am one of the few on the Praise Team who has never been married. The couple I sang for earlier that day could have been my son o daughter. I think I am/was afraid to hope it will someday be my turn. I think I had even stopped looking, expecting, and preparing for it.
So, be it resolved this 9th day of September 2009 that the I Ricardo L. Walker will allow my heart to hope for AND pursue exciting and creative things I might have let myself think impossible.
Dreamer, Awaken and lift up thine heart to the horizon where sprawls the unspoken, unpainted not-YET-composed canvas of your Divine Creativity. Speak. Sing. Write. Paint. And DANCE your JOY into Existence.