Chris connects the dots : Day 19 of 31

This is one of the entrances to my neighborhood. You pass a bulky manufacturing building on your way in.

Our neighborhood is a modest, planned community with an assortment of condos, patio homes, traditional suburban family homes, and a few custom designs. Just past those telephone poles all the wires go underground. Roads curve around ponds and traffic circles. A clock tower chimes in the town square.

Near our house is a monument of a girl on a pedestal flying a kite. Wrapping around the top of the pedestal are words like ‘loyalty’ and ‘reverence.’

It’s a nice little neighborhood. When we give directions to visit we always bring people in through the other entrance, the one with the ducks and fountain in the pond. We don’t bring first time visitors in past the factory.

My friend Chris was the developer of our community twenty years ago. He said they designed it with open spaces and ponds and benches to encourage people to get out and meet their neighbors. Inspiring words on monuments were to influence the kids.

One time I told Chris I bet he hated seeing that factory on the entrance road.

“I thank God every time I drive by that factory,” he said.

A long time ago, as he was planning to build our community, Chris owned an asphalt company. One of his employees did a little creative accounting. Chris’ company ended up owing a lot of money. He was going to end up bankrupt.

But then a manufacturing company wanted to buy a piece of property on the edge of the area Chris was planning to develop. Selling that piece kept him in business and enabled him to build our neighborhood.

Without that ugly factory my neighborhood wouldn’t be here.

I’ll bet not even five of my neighbors know that.

Every time Chris drives by that factory he connects the dots between a horrible time in his past and his hopes and dreams. In between those dots is a little miracle dot that looks blah to most people.

Chris wouldn’t call it connecting the dots. He’d just say: Pay attention. Then don’t forget.

Same thing.

When you pay attention to your scariest moments, your hopes and dreams, and things that look blah, what do you see?


Day 19 of 31 Days of Connecting the Dots: make more sense of your life, your world, your hopes and dreamsVisit the Nester to choose from over 1,200 more 31 Dayers.

About the Author


Gary Morland helps you feel better about your most challenging family relationships, and helps you actually improve those relationships - all by adopting simple attitudes, perspectives, expectations, and actions (the same ones that changed him and his family).


  1. When I think back on my scariest times and a lot of them are pretty recent, in know that God has use them for me to gain perspective and strength for the next challenge. This has also helped me to be more open to listening to His plan for me. I use to dought if my asperations were in line with what He wanted for me. I finally realized that when I do that, I’m doughting my Creator and Savior and myself. I’m just fine with the blah times if it means less drama in my life. Sometimes I think I have too many dots. Is that possible??

    • Ha! It just feels like too many because a bunch are not connected yet. The more things connect, the less confusing it seems. Thanks for your insight Julie.

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