However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” — the things God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Corinthians 2:9
Its hard to believe there was once vacant property for building homes just five miles from downtown Los Angeles. But this story took place many years ago when I was a child. And yes, there actually was vacant property, albeit much of it already subdivided into housing tracts, in Los Angeles back then. One of those areas was known as Baldwin Hills.
We were simple folk and entertained ourselves with simple things. A trip to 31 Flavors for ice cream, sitting at the beginning of the runway at LAX watching planes land (almost on top of us), and chasing rabbits at night with our car’s headlights in Baldwin Hills, were favorite family pastimes.
The Baldwin Hills outings were especially memorable. Every time we drove back from our mobile rabbit hunt, Dad would slow down and stop in front of a yellow home with white trim and a white picket fence in the front yard. It was a classic Leave-it-to-Beaver style home.
This is your dad’s dream home, Mom would say, while Dad looked at it longingly in silence.
I thought it odd, because Dad was a spendthrift. And besides, we already had a nice home.
I have always been amazed that a man with a high school education like my dad could support a stay at home mom, raise five kids, tithe to his church his entire life, live to be almost 100, and still leave a significant inheritance to his children.
But that’s what Dad did. So it seemed out of character for him to dream about buying a home in Baldwin Hills.
What’s interesting is that Dad never was able to buy that home. And here’s the reason why: I and my sister.
That’s right. My sister and I are the reason my dad couldn’t buy that home. Mom and Dad already had three boys before we were born, with the three of them appropriately spaced three years apart early in their marriage. What made me and my sister the dream-home-spoilers was the fact that both Dottie and I were total surprises, being born quite late in Mom and Dad’s lives. Mom was 38 and 44 years old respectively when Dottie and I were born. Dad was even older: 41 and 47. We came along just at the time my mom and dad probably would have bought that home.
Was it wrong for Dad to dream about buying a nicer home? No. The reason it wasn’t was because my dad knew that if he couldn’t buy his dream home, God had something better for him.
And that would be myself and my sister.
- If you could have anything you wanted, what would it be?
- In what ways have you sacrificed something you dreamed of for the cause of Christ?
- Have you seen God replace something you dreamed of but never got with something better?
- Why is it so hard for us to sacrifice present gain for eternal reward?