Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Dreams in the Dirt

"Dreams and Visions" is a topic that just keep popping up here, like the proverbial beach ball that can't be held under water. No matter how hard you try to hold a beach ball down, eventually it pops back up to the surface; it's irrepressible.

So it is with dreams and visions: no matter how many times people, circumstances -- and even ourselves -- try to shove them down or stuff them in a hole somewhere, they keep popping back out and shooting up to the surface.

Sometimes, dreams get buried because we feel as though, no matter how hard we try, we always get hurt and stymied in following what we thought were our God-given dreams and passions. Other times, we've been slapped down by those we respected, and learned from painful experience the truth of Proverbs 18:21:
"The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit."
Words can bring life and encouragement to us, but DANG, can they ever deal death and discouragement, too.

So, for some people, dreams have been buried in the ground. We have tried our best to walk away and live life "post-dreams". We have created philosophical justifications for burying our dreams and visions, and have done a pretty good job at convincing ourselves that we're somehow smarter, wiser, and better off without them.

But deep down, there is a beach ball trying to get back to the surface.

But then I think about the parable of the talents as found in Matthew 25:14-30. Here, we find that two servants, given five talents and two talents respectively, have invested them and been able to double their talents before their Master returns. And the Master commends them, and says that they will share in their "Master's joy".

The third servant, famously, hid his talents in the ground. His whiney, grovelling justification for this was that he was -- to paraphrase -- afraid of screwing up, afraid of failure, and afraid of trying.

The Master acts immediately and decisively: he throws the "wicked lazy servant" out of his kingdom. I don't think the problem was with the lack of return for the Master, it was that this servant gave up on using something that the Master had given him.

I know a lot of us have had our dreams, visions, and passions -- God-given though they may be -- trashed by others. We've been trying to follow what God put on our hearts, and we've been stomped on for it. We've been faced with, and perhaps given into, the temptation to bury our dreams in the dirt.

To quote St. Paul, "I urge you" not to let those adverse circumstances and people cause you to bury your dreams. Dig them up. Brush them off. See them with new eyes, perhaps. Remind yourself that you answer to God, not other people, for how you live.

And allow His Spirit to breath new life into those dreams. The Body of Christ needs Godly dreamers.

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