“A New Wrinkle On An Old Passage”
By Rick Cochran
The temptation is to assume that these “old men” are daydreaming about the past…the way it use to be. The context of Joel indicates otherwise. Joel is a prophetic book. Joel is future focused. These “old men” are “dreaming” forward to the future…the way it could be. Going in order, their dreaming precedes and predicates who and what follows: “young men seeing visions.” There is a vital link to these “old men dreams” and “young men visions.” These “old men” are not preservers of the past, but rather proponents of the future. Their “dreams” are bringing “visions” to the “young men.” Instead of chaining the “young men” to the past, the “old men” are challenging them for the present-future.
If there is any “past” connected to the “old men’s dreams” it would be their exploits of “visions” that they experienced as “young men.” They were pioneers, entrepreneurs, risk-takers, and world shakers! Now in their twilight years they are challenging the “young men” to arise to the opportunities of their new day.
As our beloved BBFI “grays” as our “old men” pass away and pass it on, perhaps there is a principle that we can grasp from this portion of scripture. Could this not be cyclic? These “old men’s dreams” were once their own “young men’s visions” birthed from the “old men’s dreams” of their day. My own “young man visions” for God and His work through me is connected to the “dreams of the old men” before me. Their “dreams” inspire my “visions” for Him! I owe a great debt to these “old men dreamers” — those passed on and those among us.
J Curtis Goldman, with whom I had the privilege of serving under for a decade in my youth, was a WWII glider pilot. I pull a page from his military exploits to illustrate this practical process of leadership. Goldman inspired me to be a “glider pilot” spiritually. In his day he was towed by a lead plane and then released at a strategic moment to glide into enemy territory to do battle. This time he flew the lead plane with me in tow. At the right altitude, location, and timing he cut the tow line and allowed me to fly on my own. His “dreams” became my “vision”…my God-given vision for my life and ministry. I have now reached the age that he was when we first hooked up in the late 1970s. Due to his inspirational leadership in my life, I have had and continue to have in tow young gliders to be released to fly on their own…on the winds of God’s Spirit. Goldman’s dreams…my vision…my dreams…their vision…their dreams…DO YOU GET THE VISION?
Rick Cochran is the pastor of The Bridge Church, www.bridgechurchlive.org.
(I wrote this a while back but it was not published. I just spoke to Bro. Goldman by phone last week. I wanted to fly immediately to Houston to visit him but he in typical fashion asked me to wait until he was out of the hospital so that we could get out and play some golf together. We planned to do so early in the New Year. But God had other plans and after another conversation with Mrs. Goldman this week, in the wee hours of the morning, “he in tow by His Commander in Chief Jesus Christ was released from the bonds of this earth to glide into glory!”)