A Weekly Column
By Joseph Walker


As I write this, the five most important men in the world to me are up to their ears in dream fulfillment.

No, Iím not talking about the latest version of the USA Basketball Dream Team and their most recent quest for Olympic gold.Sure, I wish them well.But Iím talking about the five men who are Ė or who will one day be Ė the fathers of my grandchildren: my two sons, my two sons-in-law and a young man who, unless I miss my guess, appears destined to be my future son-in-law.

These are five terrific young men, and I love each one of them for the goodness of their souls.They all deserve my full and undivided attention Ė especially today.But today is a big day for all of them simultaneously, and so my thoughts and prayers and positive thoughts are being sent out in five different directions.

And Iíve got to tell you: Iím feeling fragmented.

This is spiritual and metaphysical multi-tasking of the first order.And since I have a hard time walking and chewing gum at the same time, this is a real stretch for me.

On the one hand, Iím wanting to focus on Joe Jr., who today stands at the furthest edge of his life-long dream of one day being a lawyer.Fresh out of law school, today he is taking his stateís bar exam.If he passes, the dream is fulfilled and he is a full-fledged lawyer.If not . . . well, he still has that degree.But he isnít a lawyer.Not really.Not yet.

On the other hand, Iím thinking of Jon, my youngest child, who at this very moment may be standing in front of an ďAmerican IdolĒ producer, singing his 16-year-old heart out.It will be the biggest 10 seconds of his life so far, and I can only support him in this dream from here, with my hopes and prayers.

On the other hand, my son-in-law Adam is also awaiting his turn in front of the ďAmerican IdolĒ producers.Adam is a little further along in his aesthetic journey than Jon is, and a shot on this show could help propel him toward is ultimate dream: Broadway.So I canít help but pull for him, and hope the producers see all of the talent and potential that I see in this great young man.

On the other hand, every day is a big day for my son-in-law Brock, who is stationed with his Army unit in Baghdad.Brock is a soldier with the soul of a poet, and he has a duffle bag full of dreams for his future, all of which are on hold until he completes this, his third tour of duty in Iraq.For today he shares a dream with every soldier from every nation on every front line of armed conflict.Itís a simple dream: survival.May it be his.Especially today.

And on the other hand, Iím also concerned about Hudson, who is doing volunteer service for his church in Russia.Hudson has already faced numerous threats and challenges from those who donít think well of Americans in Russia, and evidently things are getting worse.Hudson is someone elseís son, but heís dear to my daughter, Beth, and therefore dear to me. And I want him to be well and safe Ė today and always.

Letís see . . . thatís one hand and four ďother hands.ĒWay more than I can ďhandle,Ē if youíll pardon the expression.So I offer my positive thoughts and encouragement, and commend them all to God, and trust that He will look after them wherever they are.Because I canít.

Itís a helpless feeling, isnít it?Whether youíre a parent or a sibling or a sweetheart or a friend, itís hard to know that people who are dear to you are facing difficult or important moments in their lives, and there isnít anything you can do to help them.And so we offer encouragement and we send out our positive thoughts, in hopes that it makes a difference.

And we leave the rest to God.

Who, it turns out, sort of specializes in dream fulfillment.

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ó © Joseph Walker

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