The Pen is mightier than the sword, but the Pen must sometimes move the sword against corruption if the corrupt are not moved by the pen.. An idea without an implementer is useless. "The Rulers do not carry the sword in vain"Rom 13:4

Monday, May 20, 2013

It's never too late! (to Dream).. Toastmasters Finals 2003

Jim Keys gave an empassioned and heartfelt speech which won him first place for that year.
In the course of the speech, he mentioned various negative things that happen to use which tend to lock us up in a prison of... "well.. perhaps I could have but ..nah, not in this lifetime"...and Jim goes on to illustrate wonderfully how people with serious handicaps can overcome those problems and still make great dreams come true.
Jim has structured the speech very well.. he has used a very wide range of oratorical devices..and the most prominent one which absolutely must be the  kernel of all great oratory, it involved.. "escape"  from someting awful.. ie.. believing it is already too late to fulfill your dreams.

But I want to lift Jim's speech to a higher level, by asking 'why' ?  Of course it makes sense to have and chase after our dreams... but all that needs a context...... imagine if you are a prisoner in Aushwitz and you have a dream... what might it be?  Reunited with family? simply survive? or..within the constraints of the camp.. become a singer or a performer ?  Of course it is clear that even having a simple dream of 'excelling in singing' or something in such a context would all be relative to the ultimate fate of the invidual.... so I believe all that we do, no matter how free or liberated we might feel at the time.. still has an ultimate context.

As I've pointed out in a couple of recent entries.. Peggy Lee sang a song that changed my life in the 60s... "If that's all there is... then bring out the booze..and let's have a ball"   I surely didn't embrace that attitude, but I could not see why not other than self preservation.  It would have been considered quite normal to try to just 'score' with as many females as possible.. enjoy Kings Cross nightlife (which I did a few times.. to my regret and near death!)  Let me expand a bit on that.  I was in the RAAF.. (AirForce) and  single.  One of the 'older more experienced' blokes decided to show we young 19 yr olds a thing or two about "the Cross" (Kings type) so.. we piled into his Mini Cooper S and vroomed into town.  During the night we managed to get into a gay bar...(I didn't realize what kind of bar it was when we just followed "Bob").. found my leg being groped as we walked past some tables.. ended up down the 'back' where a couple of shady characters were plotting a murder..(yes really).. Bob our fearless leader got drunk out of his brain... and long story short, we finally started off for home/The Base.  Bob went to sleep at the wheel no less than 3 times and I was transfixed on him the whole journey to wake him if he did... Onya Bob.. nearly killed us all you rat.

So.. philosophically, it makes sense to pander to our carnal desires, go off the deep end of self gratification..and pleasure..hedonism and indulgence..   and the kind of dreams Jim was speaking of just didn't figure in my world of the sixties.  I tried some 'night school' for self improvement, but.. found it an uphill battle.  It still amazes me to recollect an image of my head hanging out of a car window chucking my stomach contents from one side of Windsor road to the other...after a hard night on the vodka and coke.. at a stag party..   It took a few shocks to draw my philosophical inclinations toward something more meaningful.. and I won't bore you with that now.

I learned an important lesson in the Air Force. "Sin doesn't dissappear with the status of the person, it just gets more sophisticated"... well.. that's one for you to work through.

I've only started to really have dreams in my late 50s.. and now am fufilling some of them. It's taken me this long to realize that, as Jim says.. "It's never too late"  but for me I need a bigger spiritual context for it all to have purpose and ultimacy.  Even though I can describe that as a 'need' of mine.. I can also see the fulfilment of that need in Christ, and more importantly, that Christ is our Saviour irrespective of whether I recognize that in my own life.  He is Saviour potentially for all, but only effectively for those of us who have given our hearts to him.

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