Monday, November 20, 2006
I sat in church as a teenager and loved best the times we'd have foreign missionaries as guest speakers because their stories sounded so exciting and usually got me all teary-eyed. And nearly always I'd think, "When I grow-up, I want to be a missionary!"
And then on Monday I'd walk to school and I'd love every minute (it seemed) sitting in my English classes and I'd think my English teachers had the best job on Earth. I'd picture myself, older, standing up in their place and I'd dream about someday being a for-real English teacher, myself.
Then other days I'd walk up the hill to our city library and think that librarians were the luckiest people in the world to, everyday, stand and work and breathe amongst thousands and thousands of books-- and I'd long to be a librarian. And then I'd find a cozy corner there and read Emily Dickinson and dream about stuffing little stringed-together booklets of poems into my own bureaus to be found when I died, except well, I wanted to be appreciated for my poetry, like, right now. Not to mention all the other days I sat there dreaming of becoming a farmer or an author or a mother of twelve (courtesy of Cheaper By The Dozen) or a hermit.
And then I grew-up.
I became none of those things (though I did write thousands of poems, but they did not impress the world and they won't when I die, either. Trust me.) I had dreamed all those dreams, but I was young-- I had the wisdom of a cockroach.
Dreaming is good. Dreaming is wonderful. The Bible says without a vision God's people perish and well, amen to that.
But for me, the only dreams which have lived and breathed and survived their babyhood are those dreams God, Himself, placed in my heart. Not the ones I dreamed while my heart was childish and attention-hungry, more dreamy than practical, more all-about-me rather than all-about-God, and more changeable than steady.
The only time I've had problems with God's dreams for me are when I began letting my eyes rove over to what other people were doing... how glamorous their dreams appeared from the outside... or when they told me how I should tweak what God gave me to do--and I listened to them and wandered into lands of discontent and jealousy and boredom.
I could never, ever come up with a dream for myself which would be better than God's plans and ideas for me--and I'm believing a lie if I think God made a mistake with the dreams He put in my heart. If there's a mistake to be made, always, I will be the one to make it. Not Him.
The dreams God gives me happen-- when I keep pace with Him.
The dreams God gives me are exciting-- when I keep my attitude right.
The dreams God gives me are custom-made --because He knows me better than I know myself.
The dreams God gives me are do-able-- if they appear impossible, it's only because I'm looking in the wrong places for help. God would have to be pretty mean to give me a dream with NO way to see it through.
But always this will be true for me --if my passion for Him remains greater than my passion for any dreams He gives me, then the living going on inside me will always be good. Because He is good, whether I am standing with Him at the beginning or middle or at the finish line of a dream... it doesn't matter where. It will always matter most with Whom I am standing and that I love Him far, far better than any dream He gives me.
"When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child..." 1 Corinthians 13:11
"He has put a new song in my mouth..." Psalm 40:3