Friday, November 18, 2011

Perchance to Dream...

Now those memories come back to haunt me;
They haunt me like a curse.
Is a dream a lie if it don't come true?
Or is it something worse?

(Bruce Springsteen, The River)

Dreams aren't necessarily destinations.

Nor are they synonymous with road maps. Or game plans. Or five year strategic projections.

Dreams are more like a lit match being applied to a fuse.

Consider some of the more well-known dreamers in the Bible.

Abraham, who was given a dream of becoming a mighty nation. Who would have thought all he'd have to show, at life's end, would be one boy.

Joseph: now here's a guy whose dreams were accurate. Except that he never would have figured how many years of prison would be part of their fulfillment.

Paul the Apostle: you have to feel some empathy for a man who saw Jesus in a vision (right after getting knocked off his ass), and Jesus informs him how much he is going to suffer (Acts 9:15-16)

Maybe we focus too much on the dream itself, assuming that (A) all will be smooth sailing of joyous fulfillment, and (B) that we already know just how it will turn out.

And, of course, we fail to take into account the journey between the dream's inception and its fulfillment.

The blisters, abrasions, aching fingers and hours of practice before the guitarist is worth listening to.

The years of self-discipline, denial, and harsh physical training before the athlete is ready for the Olympics.

The long hours, sleepless nights, and School of Hard Knocks lessons before something resembling Wisdom begins to be formed within.

The shipwrecks, beatings, stonings, and imprisonment that Paul endured in fulfilling his calling, his dream, his mission.

Frustrated dreamers, longing to see the actualization of what they've seen in their dreams, are also in training through the School of Hard Knocks. We dare not lose sight of this, when the going gets tough. But we are in good company. Lots of good company.
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." (Hebrews 12:1-3)

1 comment:

  1. Rob,

    You have hit the nail on the head.

    When I was figuring out what to do with my life just as Heather and I were married, God spoke to me saying that I was going to be a "Pastor to the Business World".

    That was in the summer of 1994.

    I had it all planned out. I was going to get my Certified management Accountingn Designation and be a manager by the time I was 30 - 1999. Went and did my school, wrote my CMA exam, failed it, wrote my CMA exam, failed it, got booted out of the CMA program.

    It took me a long time to figure out that God is more concerned about what we learn along the journy and the person we become along the way. I thought I had to be a manager to be that Pastor God had spoke to me about. As i look back over my career so far, I have realized that God has always had me on the path towards that dream and that He has used me as that Pastor along the way when I didn"t even realize it.

    Cheers, Neil