Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Living a Dream

I worked in town today. I set up two interviews for upcoming stories in the paper, and I headed out after I drank my coffee and fed the chickens.
My first interview was with a saint. No, he's not recognized by the church, or any "authority" but I know a saint when I meet one.
Many years ago he was a drunk....not my words, but his. He was a very successful businessman early in his life, but as the old song goes, he began to see his life through the bottom of a glass.
Things began to crumble around him. He lost his business, his money, his house, and his family. Soon, he was homeless. He rambled around the south for some time but wound up in Salem, Oregon. He was working an odd job picking tomatoes to get a little money for more booze when a co-worker suggested that he go to a rescue mission where he could spend the night and get a warm meal.
He balked because of the "God Thang", but then went by the mission. That day changed his life forever. The rescue mission held him accountable for small things at first and then bigger things.
He got a job making great money in Seattle, but he kept going back to volunteer at the rescue mission in Salem.
The mission offered him a job but they couldn't pay what he was making, but he realized his passion, was helping those invisible people -- those who have called in all their favors; those who have lied, and ripped off their loved ones once too often; those who live under the radar of society, sleeping in boxcars, cardboard boxes, and bus station benches.
Since the day he walked into the Union Gospel Mission in Salem, Oregon, he has been helping transform the lives of those invisible people.
To make a long story shorter, he retired, moved back home, then came out of retirement to help a struggling rescue mission in Birmingham.
This doesn't happen to me often, but the hair on my arms tingled as Tom Zobel talked about his plans for Brother Bryan's Mission in Birmingham.
After the interview, I went to 5 Point South in Birmingham which is one of my most favorite places in the city. I had lunch at Jimmy John's Sandwich Shop. As I stood studying the menu, two guys in their early 20's said "Welcome, how's it going?" I told them I was living a dream. The both giggled as if I'd told them a funny joke. When I didn't laugh they looked at each other as if I were on drugs.
I wish I could have told them that I wasn't joking. I really am living a dream. But that's not an accident.
I've known for a very long time that I wanted to write, play music, and fish for a living. It's in my journals, it's on my New Year's resolutions, it's on my action items list, it's in my day planner.
Life throws you curves and sometimes you get off course. You have to make a living, but you should always be moving in the direction of your dreams.
OK, perhaps I've said too much. I've declared tomorrow a fishing day, so I will be unavailable for less important things. I hope you all have a great Thursday, but more importantly, I hope you all find a way to start living a dream.


  1. Anonymous8:49 PM

    What an inspirational story.Many people that know me personaly and around blogging sphere suggest to me to write (even a book)My mother is commenting I spend too much time in kitchen and writing about it and my other writing stories are suffering:)
    I am living my dream too,travelling with my daughter,ccooking,working my horti business and whatever I write I hope people can feel it through my words...that I am living my dream too.Cheers to people that drug themselves with LIFE:)

  2. Good for you Dzoli! It shows on your blog. I find myself wanting to lick my screen when I look at the dishes you cook. Cheers

  3. Anonymous9:03 PM

    Inspirational. Catch one (or two) for us.

  4. Oh how my hubby would love to take a fishing day. But life is interfering. Pretty soon though we will be back to living our dreams. The sign on the back of our RV says Don't Dream Your Life - Live It.

  5. A very good sharing sir!

    Happy fishing!


  6. Congrats on livin' the dream. Please think a good thought for those of us over here hugging drunken porcupines. :)

  7. When I was young, I dreamed of being a mother and I did. It has been a dream come true for me. My dream now is to travel in an RV with hubby when he retires. Five more years and we will be off to see every Province in Canada and every State in the Union!

  8. You do have a beautiful life. Your blog just oozes contentment and happiness. I haven't yet figured out what my dream is, but I'd guess it involves life with my husband, children and grandchildren. One day I'll have to pick something and focus, but I'm having a good time learning lots of things.

  9. Great post - I enjoyed reading about your interview, and about following your dream. It reminds me to take stock and pay more attention to my dream.

  10. What a wonderful post Rick, thank you. Enjoy your knee therapy, AKA fishing :-)

  11. Yay for living your dream!! I like this guy Tom Zobel! Good for him - what a life - amazing!

    Enjoy your fishing! take care

  12. Thanks all for your kind words.

  13. Hi Rick. Your life certainly sounds as good as it gets to me, and I think you've got it just about right! Enjoy your fishing my friend, and just think, it will be doing your knees good at the same time. That man certainly sounded inspirational. Isn't it good that there are people like that out there in the world!

  14. Such a beautiful and inspirational story. I truly enjoyed reading it.
    You have a small typo error...hope you don't mind me letting you know. (at the bottom paragraph...should be LIFE...not LIVE, just one word difference)

    You sound like such a "laid back" easy going and nice person...going fishing suits your style:DDD

  15. I"m not sure I ever had any real dreams--I just lived one day at a time, sometimes standing on tip-toe waiting to see what God would bring along. And then I ended up on an island in the South Pacific with the official status of 'retired'. I'm not sure it was my dream, but I am loving every minute of it!

  16. What a great story!!

  17. Thanks all for your kind comments.
    @Elisabeth, I appreciate pointing out the typo.
    I always reread to edit, but I still miss stuff.

  18. What a wonderful story! And it's a true one, so that makes it extra special.


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