George Bailey in “It’s a Wonderful Life” post-pones his dream of traveling the world. His father’s sudden death forces him to choose between travel and heading up the family loan business. He takes on leadership at the loan company and uses his saved money to enable his brother Harry to go to college. Harry returns from college and steps off the train. Will this be the moment when George’s hopes and dreams are met? What about Mary, will they marry? The story is unfolding.
George faces another hurdle. Harry steps off the train and introduces his new wife. George freezes but gathers himself together and greets his new sister-in-law with open arms. Then she tells George that her father has offered Harry a research job in his factory in a new emerging field. The look on George’s face tells the story. George must decide if he is going to demand his turn to go to college or will he defer to Harry’s future? George must choose. Yup, here is one of my favorite poems by Robert Frost. “Two roads diverged in the woods and I took the one less traveled by.”
Dreams have a way of moving just over the next horizon as life unfolds. “The hopes and dreams of all the years were met in thee tonight” is a line from “O Little Town of Bethlehem” written by Phillips Brooks three years after the end of the Civil War in 1868. It expressed the HOPE that the Bethlehem story gave to a country torn apart by conflict and struggling to find its new normal. George Bailey had to find a new normal as he did not demand to go to college but encouraged his brother Harry’s opportunity. Joseph and Mary must have wondered what God was doing when they were forced to give birth in a stable and then forced to change plans and flee to Egypt.
As a country we are struggling with aftermath of the impact of Coved and economic upheaval. Let us focus on the God who does not abandon us in all the detours of life. May we trust and not demand our way just because we can’t see around the corner. There is HOPE on a detour for our guide knows the route to the best dream. Blessings.