[Thanks to Pastor Alan, whose sermon this morning inspired the title, at least, to this post, and may have subconsciously contributed to its content, and to Wendell Berry, whose books about his imaginary town, Port William, Kentucky, have definitely contributed to the improvement of my soul, and to Jesus, who said, in John 15, “Remain in me, and I will remain in you.” (NIV)]
I caught myself thinking today, standing next to friends in our kitchen, that I can comfortably imagine myself with these people, in this place, 30 years from now.
We will be white-haired and our edges will be well-rounded, like stones after spending years at the bottom of a stream, and we will have rich histories to recall together. Deep roots will stretch beneath us, and the legacies of our lives, whatever they will be, will surround us, and the days ahead will be valued as great treasures to be cherished just because they are days ahead, and because there will be fewer of them than we’ve had in our youth.
I was comforted by that notion today; by the soft nature of its approach and the warmth of it wrapping around me.
I can imagine even being in this old, worn-out house in those years, with memories of earlier generations whispered from its walls.
I can imagine doing dishes in that sink, and falling asleep in an easy chair in the evenings, after the house has been emptied of grandchildren and white-haired friends, and being awakened by Renee as she herds me to my bed.
I’ve seen myself take pleasure, in those visions of future years, in simple things like tending the roses in the flower beds by the garage – greatly neglected as a lower priority than most everything else today – as van doors open at the end of our driveway, and children come running to my side yelling “Grandpa.”
Maybe all of that seems drab and silly in some moments of some of my days now, and maybe it really is just that, and maybe it’s just an imaginary world I’ll never see. Maybe.
Today, though, the images are welcome here, and I’m grateful for a life that allows the possiblity for such imaginary things to be desirable.
I can’t know whether remaining in Him will enable such dreams or prevent them. Either way, though, remaining will produce the intended, treasured fruit and that will be more wonderful than all of my dreams.