While traveling around the country for an extended time, you tend to take opportunity for reflection. Sometimes life gets so busy, it’s easy to forego time for contemplation. Life moves on and we forget pieces of who we are, or perhaps who we once were. I’m learning how important it is to remember and wrestle with the past because these are pieces of a foundation upon which will hold up my future.
I have a picture of my boys here for one, because I like it. They begged me to allow them to take a silly picture. I obliged. This is typically what the word silly looks like to them at this stage of the game. As I look at them, I think a lot about the future. I have dreams for these boys and already for their families to be. And in dreaming for them, I often think about the critical role I play in those dreams even now at the ages of 3 and 5 years old. Recently, I heard someone say that at these very formative ages, children are likened to wet cement. We leave our hand prints in that wet cement. One thing about wet cement is that it dries fairly quickly and then lasts a lifetime. As I dream for my boys and think about the future, I also realize that the impressions I am making right now are soon going to become permanent fixtures in the people that they are becoming and the men they are going to be many years from now. That encourages me and scares me all at the same time.
But heres comes the twist in that this dreaming of the future is also causing me as of late to remember and contemplate my past. I don’t know about you, but for me, I don’t enjoy thinking of my past. I have regrets. There are things I want to change and wish were different. The hardest thing about the past is that you can’t change it, which is precisely why I much more prefer the future. In the future, hope and opportunity exist. But back to the past.
Sometimes even at 38, I feel like entire lifetimes have flown by. I grew up in a hometown I feel like I barely remember because I left at 17. In college, I was a biology major and pre-med student. In my last year, I transitioned to Bible college. After graduation, and getting married while in college, Andrea and I worked together at a faith-based drug rehabilitation program where we lived with 60 men in a transitional facility and worked as counselors. From there, we lived in 8 states over the following 10 years working in churches primarily as a worship pastor and creative arts director. I transitioned from music to working in communications and technology and eventually an Executive Pastor in a large church. After enjoying (a sarcastic word) some hardships on church staff, much of which I now know were self-inflicted wounds, I ended up founding a microbrewery where I still lead as CEO today, though from a distance while I’m on the road. Which leads to the fact that now, we’ve sold our home and most of what we own, and are traveling the country in an RV on a pilgrimage to both reconnect with each other and with God’s purpose in our lives. And where this leads, no one knows.
What a whirlwind! Now you understand why I find myself spending time contemplating the past. There’s a lot to think about! And a lot to learn from. One thing I enjoy about thinking about the past is there are things that come to mind that I completely forgot about. And so, here’s a song. I’m putting it here because it’s a song I wrote and recorded 10 years ago now and until it came up on my phone yesterday, I had completely forgotten that it ever existed, and I do mean completely. While it may sound like you are sitting in a smoky dive bar in a not so nice part of town, I think it’s kinda groovy. Thanks to my uncle, Kent Humble for the sweet licks on the Telecaster and to the infamous Denis Johnson Jr for his magic touch on the Rhodes (a real one, not a fake software piano).
I hope you take some time to sit down and think about your past. I hope you remember something that you completely forgot about. And I hope you think about your future. And I hope you make it awesome.
I’ll Never Know – Gary Humble – ©2007 Freedom Songs Music
Dear Humble Travelers,
I don’t much believe in coincidences and nothing of late has been a coincidence, including your blog being forwarded to me by a good friend. I suppose we all have a past, some brighter/darker than others. I documented my past in a book I wrote called ‘Heavens To Betsey’. God made me write the book and I agreed to do it as long as He would take on the marketing. It’s selling like cold cakes, but still I wait…for His timing. And like yourselves, I too am a traveler and on one of the biggest journeys of my life. After 15 years, I have left my church, disappointed by their big-box behaviors, tithing payment plans and lack of financial transparency. I am starting a home church with a few friends with the same concerns. On another note, I liked your song and love that it had a bit of smoky dive bar edge. Jesus would have been the first to enter that bar to hear you sing!
Thanks Mary! Glad to hear you are forming a community of faith. That’s important. I’m on a very similar journey. Blessings to you and make sure to get back out there and travel!