Other VanOrden Posts

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Glue that Makes Humans what They Are

I’ve been thinking a lot about change recently.  I am preparing a sermon for our Church congregation to be delivered on Sunday January 1st.  Its purpose is to help congregants prepare to set individual and group goals for the New Year 2012. 
Changing is one of the coolest things we do in this life.  Change takes a commitment level that makes most of us uncomfortable, especially as we get older.  Organizations that don’t change usually fade to insignificance pretty dang fast.  But life without change becomes stagnant and even purposeless. Change seems to be part of the glue that makes humans what they are. 

Years ago I learned this truth.  What the mind can conceive and believe it can achieve. Change spawns in the deep recesses of the mind. Belief is product of determination.  Being willing to work hard makes determination exponentially real.  It expands as we press forward and see progress. 

I once decided I would become the best basketball player north of Chicago.  This was in 1965.  I was all of 13 years old at the time and very bitsy at 5’.  My older brother had been a 3 year starter at our suburban Chicago high school in Libertyville Illinois. I felt the need to carry on the family tradition and determined to do so.  I became a gym rat.  Then once back home I would dribble the basketball for hours in our cement floored basement.  Freshman year I made the “A” team at a whopping 5’2” tall.  I played but did not start.  But the dream persisted and I grew 5 inched in the summer and made the sophomore team.  It looked like I would start.   I kept working on my skills.  My vertical jump improved.  By junior year I was almost 6’ and could dunk a volleyball…my hands were never big enough to palm a basketball. 
I did not become the super star like my brother had been but I did score 28 and 29 points in games during my high school career.  I had moments of brilliance.  I was satisfied that my dream had become reality to the level my body would allow.  I just didn’t have a 6’2” John Stockton hiding under my skin. Most of the dreams I have conceived have come true, marrying a beautiful California girl, raising a large family, being a Bishop, a Stake President, and a teacher in the worldwide LDS Church Educational System.  I am a believer when it comes to dreaming big and making it happen by working hard.

My latest two dreams are reshaping my body by losing 80 pounds and retiring with dignity to a financially secure life.  As is usual with me, I am working on these with my usual gusto.  So my encouragement to all is to look to 2012 with enthusiasm and great expectation.  Do something unsuspected.  Move toward accomplishing your biggest dream. 
My friend Marc Cameron (Otte) has worked many years to hone his writing skill to become a nationally known novelist. This year he arrived with the publishing of his newest book, “National Security” and the dream continues to grow.  So whatever you really want to do, make 2012 the best year for stepping forward.