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 Article
 Unfulfilled Dreams

Rick was the perfect kid next door. He went to a private Catholic school and excelled in every sport he played. He could run like the wind; he was amiable and everyone wanted to be on his team when the game started. His play stood out in every sport he played. He had a very bright and promising future in sports. He was one of the rare ones that could have gone professional in any sport he applied himself to. He could have been rich and famous but later in life he took a wrong turn then things went terribly wrong.

Rick grew up as an only child with a silver spoon in his mouth and opportunity knocking at every door. His parents were older than parents usually were when they started families. They were devout Catholics who kept a tight hold on Rick. He was under a strict and controlling rule at home. He was your perfect all American boy next door. He walked right out of the 1950’S hit TV SERIES: ”Ozzie AND Harriet Nelson”, your favorite family next door. He was polite, meek and he did not have an ego the size of Texas, which you would expect from a person of his athletic abilities.

He was always friendly, polite and generally a nice guy. He was one of the nicer kids in the neighborhood. People watched Rick play sports they knew he was something special. He had the world at his fingertips.

John his best friend (he lived a few houses down from Rick) lost contact with him over the years. He was about to walk in the bright, shining future that had been laid at his feet. So everyone thought! Somewhere in his journey Rick did a total turn around that changed his whole nature.

The truth about his family life came to light years later. He was constantly at odds with his father and mother. They were worlds apart in what they wanted him to do. There was physical abuse in their home and his father was an alcoholic who was drunk around the clock. Rick’s dad was overbearing, gruff and he never expressed any affection toward Rick. He never told Rick that he appreciated him or loved him.

The effects of his dysfunctional home life had been simmering in Rick for years; he kept pushing it down, down until one day it erupted and set his life on fire and set him spinning into a pit he would never come out of. Against his family’s wishes he joined the Army and he deliberately went with the wrong crowd blazing down the road of unhindered rebellion.

 

John had not seen Rick for years and all but forgot about him. Then one day John ran into an old friend in the parking lot at the local shopping center. “Hey John remember me?” John stopped in his tracks pondering who this salutation was from. John looked intently at the young man who had greeted him. “Ron is that you?” “Yeah John it’s been a long time.” John didn’t recognize the once dirty faced longhaired kid haired who had turned into a strapping tall, well- built young man. “You know who this is?” John following Ron’s glance to the angry figure standing next to Ron. The man standing next to Ron wore a scar across his forehead having an angry scowl permanently pasted on his face. He was fat out of shape and wore sloppy clothes that misfit his large frame. He aged beyond his youthful years with all the drug and alcohol abuse. “No I can’t say that I do.” It’s Rick your old buddy!”  John’s face dropped to the ground. “Wow Rick you sure have changed!”

Rick mumbled something. Everyone says that when they see him.” Ron piped in.” “Rick works for me now in my construction company. He just got out of the Army and he is living with me until he can get back on his own two feet.”  John retired to his car and drove off still stinging with shock at how bad Rick looked. Later on John heard Rick had been involved in a barroom brawl. Rick was struck in the face and he fell backwards hitting his head against the bar and he died instantly.

Tragically, Rick was never told about Jesus Christ who could have saved his life and turned him around and made him the famous professional sports hero he was always meant to be. Rick’s turned into an empty life of unfulfilled dreams.

For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for well-being, and not for calamity, in order to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

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