We were driving through the ATM at lunch time, my daughter and I. She was just finished with her Kindergarten class for the day. I had just spent the whole morning working. We were listening, both in silence, to the radio and just absolutely vegging.
Then a lady’s voice broke onto the air; a caller who had called in to share a story about a little boy that she took care of. This lady (I honestly don’t remember her name) was a teacher of children with special needs. The story she was telling was of a small boy who was born with spina bifida. From the waist down he was paralyzed. He was only mobile due to the fact that he had stiff running shoes and metal leg braces that held his limp legs at complete attention.
In her story, the teacher was putting the little boy down for a nap. She was taking off the heavy leg braces and then she took off the stiff running shoes. Immediately the little boy began to throw a hissy fit. The teacher, frustrated with the outburst, said to the little boy, “You give me one good reason why I should leave these shoes on.” Without hesitation the little boy yelled, “BECAUSE WHAT IF I WANT TO RUN IN MY DREAMS?”
The teacher put the shoes back on the little boy and let him go to sleep.
There was complete silence on the radio and complete silence in my car.
Have you ever tried to take money out of an ATM with tears streaming down your face? It doesn’t work well. Have you ever had your daughter ask you to explain what a story was about and had to explain it to her while you were sobbing? It’s humbling.
Let me tell you something. On that day, a teacher with a story about a little boy full of faith and expectation absolutely heave-hoed my world. I had this flip-flopping, can’t get it to go away knot in the pit of my stomach that let me know that I needed his faith. I needed his desire to see his dreams come true.
These were the questions running through my head: “What if I’m like that little boy and I’ve crippled myself and my dreams? What if I need to just throw all caution to the wind and demand myself to give my dreams their running shoes? What if… What if I gave my dreams their running shoes and instead of living my dreams in my dreams, I lived them in real life? What if I broke down my own crippling barriers that I’ve put up for myself and stared my dreams right in their gorgeous, undeniable faces and said, I like you and accept you and I want you to be my life?”
I wept for that little boy and the tenderness of his heart. Oh how my heart broke for him to be set free from the captivity his tiny little body held him in. And now as I write this, with tears streaming down my face, how my heart breaks for me and every one of us who have just crippled our dreams, or have had them crippled for us for that matter.
But what if… What if we took our dreams and gave them their running shoes? Where would they go? What would they do? Will you go there? Do it, oh please do it.
I’m challenging myself; I’m challenging you. Wherever you are in the process of knowing what your dreams are and pursuing them, take that next step. Don’t worry about the end result. Just take the next step. And I will too.