“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..”
We all suffer from the prevailing disease of emptiness. An infant’s first cry signals that she is in need of something greater than herself. We make it our life ambition to fill the hole that lies within. In order to be filled, we begin a search that is often fueled by our cravings, desires, and dreams. Where our dreams are, there our treasure is also. We are what we dream.
The assumption is that if I am successful, I will be accepted and fulfilled. If I am great, I will belong. I have to stand out, shine brighter, be the belle of the ball, the cream of the crop, and above average.
We are scared of fading into the background, as we think, “I might as well cease to exist.” Failure is not an option, so we rule our worlds from clipboards as we strategize for success. We work hard, really hard, as we pursue greatness. So we hear the echo of our souls.
There is so much pressure in this world to be great, and it starts early in life (as we tally score boards and sticker charts). We invest time, energy, and vitamins into our kids so they can grow up to be strong, smart, make good grades, get into a great college, have a successful career, and meet someone amazing with whom they will have great children, a great house, and a great life! None of these things are wrong in and of themselves, but is this really what it means to be great?
At the end of the day, we wrongly believe that our acceptance is rooted in our greatness. That is, if we are great, then (and only then) will be truly accepted. Ordinary freaks us out.
Get this; according to Dr. Richard Leahy, psychologist and anxiety specialist, “The average high school kid today has the same level of anxiety as the average psychiatric patient in the early 1950s.” Apparently this goes beyond age, because a 2007 New York Times article reported that three in ten American women have admitted to taking sleeping pills before bed most nights. We are losing sleep, chasing our dreams.
Our desire for greatness is producing dreams that keep us from true rest. And it’s now been labeled as an epidemic! Our failure to perform and live up to both our own and the culture’s standards only leaves us depressed, insecure, and anxious.
We all have dreams. You may dream of a new car, getting a college scholarship, or maybe a promotion at work. Maybe it’s paying off that loan, having the smartest kids, a new house, changing your current husband, getting a husband, starting a business, or writing a book. As we chase our dreams are we just running away from ordinary?
Dream chasing could be compared to storm chasing. You may catch something exciting, or you may get blown to smithereens. When you chase dreams, you have the potential to get sucked into a tornnado-like portal that ends up “somewhere over the rainbow.” Next thing you know, you’re in a strange land with crazy little munchkins who sing songs about lollypops, and you’re journeying through life with people without brains, courage, and hearts.
We all shoot for the moon, hoping to at least land on a star. After all, “When you wish upon a star, your dreams come true.” Why are dreams associated with the moon, stars, and outer space? Is it because very few people have actually traveled to these destinations? As a result, very few people know what it feels like to truly have all of their dreams come true. We say, “If I could just land on a star…” but what happens when we miss the star? We’ve all missed the moon, and we’ve all missed our fair share of stars.
What happens to a “Dream Deferred?” Langston Hughes writes in his well-known poem:
Does it dry up?
Like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore-
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over –
Like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
Like a heavy load?
Or does it explode?
What really happens to a dream deferred? Are others repulsed to be around you because there is a rotten stench that you just cannot seem to shake?
Where is hope in the midst of rejection and broken dreams? Is it in the bottom of a gallon of Ben and Jerry’s? Thirty more minutes on the treadmill? Is it found amidst a Netflix binge session?
Yeah…the sting of rejection hurts. The mirror on the wall has told you that you are not enough. When we are rejected, the pain deep inside throbs, “I just want to belong!” If we live for the applause the silence will KILL us.
We long to be known and accepted because deep within the fabric of our life is woven a desire to belong. Paraphrasing Tim Keller’s thoughts in The Meaning of Marriage, to be accepted, but not fully known, is comforting, but superficial. To be known and not accepted is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved and accepted (still), is unbelievably rare, and yet that’s exactly what it’s like to be loved by God.
So…Yeah, you may feel like a permanent resident on your boulevard of broken dreams but know this, God is creating a space where He does His best work! Brokenness is HIS speciality. He is creating an environment in your heart that is desperate for HIM. He is creating a space that will welcome other broken souls with open arms.
Broken dreams, losing, disappointment, rejection are great reminders that our heartstrings cannot be tied to anything in this world. God must be our ultimate goal.
God wants us to wake up to the good news of the Gospel,which tells us that our hope is not rooted in our performance, but on Jesus Christ’s perfect performance on our behalf. Jesus Christ is ALWAYS enough! In Christ we are accepted as beloved sons and daughters!
Our dreams are free to soar above our limitations and fears because they are anchored in the Love of Christ.
Yes, God may break your dreams, but you can rest assure, He will not waste them.
This world is a landfill of shattered dreams but God, the author and perfecter of our faith is building something beautiful from the brokenness. He will resurrect our dreams.
His “No,” is always a “Yes!” to something MORE!
God wants us to dream, but we have to quit dreaming small, “selfie” dreams. God desires for us to get over our tiny, thigh-gap dreams that are blown away by the latest fad. Our broken dreams can become newer, fuller, weightier, and God-sized dreams.
What are your God sized dreams? I would love to hear what the Lord is stirring in your heart! If you are ready to dream BIG… please share this post!!!! There may someone who needs to hear they are not to old to start dreaming!