The Awful Tension of Dreams and Reality

Walking that line between dreams and reality is really difficult. I never want to give up on dreams and forget about the beautiful seeds that God planted in my mind and heart so many years ago. Yet, I don’t want my head to be so far up in the clouds that my feet aren’t on the ground anymore. This is especially important as I become an adult. You know, someone with responsibilities and such.

I think the weight of worry is one of the things that crushes dreams. It seems like kids usually think that adults are people with no dreams or imagination. I know that because Morgan and I read “The Little Prince” together. But I don’t think it’s true. I don’t think it’s true because I’m beginning to wade into the world of adulthood and yet there are still dreams somewhere inside of me, even though they might have been buried under a year or so of insecurity and the weight of coming responsibilities.

This morning I took some time to look back over a ton of old blog entries that I had written. Did any of you have Xanga back in the day? I did. I wrote on it just about every day. My writing was so honest and shameless. I talked about crushes I had, about technology I wanted, about how I was feeling every day. I shared my life in word-pictures and wrote poems and all kinds of things. These are the kinds of things that I’m incredibly self-conscious about now. These are all things I try to suppress and hide. Yet, I was so free from worry and insecurity back then. And it is in those years that my dreams took root.

What kinds of things bury and crush and cause you to forget the dreams that you once held so dear? Is it insecurity? The voices of peers became louder than that still small voice inside your soul. You weren’t sure of yourself, so you started running after the things that gave you pats on the back and thumbs up instead of the things that filled up your heart. Is it distraction? Little half-hearted pursuits like Facebook, gadgets, and tv shows joined forces to capture the whole of your soul and your dreams got stamped out and stifled. Is it worry? You have a lot of hopes, but you are afraid to pursue them because you might lose what you already have. You don’t want to let go of the present to run whole-heartedly into the future and so you remain dreadfully anchored to the past. Is it sheer responsibility? This is probably the most legitimate of all. It’s not that you don’t have dreams or that you have forgotten them. It’s just that real life (like friends, and family, and bills) are in front of you and you simply can’t neglect them long enough to let your dreams play out. The seeds of your dreams were planted long ago when your life was an empty field, but now it is full of various vegetation, much of it quite beautiful but all quite present.

I think a little bit of all of those have been in and around and on me lately. Another is simply this: I don’t know how exactly to translate some dreams into reality.

For example, I’ve dreamed all my life of a beautiful woman to pursue and love and cherish and call my own. Now she is not simply a dream. She is flesh and blood with a beating heart, a pounding pulse, and a rhythmic breath. Morgan will be my bride in 70 days. Yet, with all of those dreams about her, sometimes I just don’t love her well. Sometimes I don’t pursue her well or show her how captivated my heart really is by her.

Another example is ministry. Two years ago I became the primary leader of a small group in my church and it was a dream becoming a reality. Friends, community, God, scriptures, Jesus, his Spirit, on and on. It was a beautiful mix of life and faith. Real life and real faith. Yet, now that I’ve earned a ministry degree and am free from the time constraints and responsibilities of college, I don’t know where to go. I don’t know how to make these dreams become real. Last week I had a conversation with the Lord where I simply said to him, “You called me to this about seven and a half years ago! I’ve been pursuing it, living it, preparing for it ever since then. Where is it!? Where am I going!? All I can say is that I trust you. And it’s in your hands. Show me what I need to do next.” I guess I just need to remember that Jesus waited about thirty years before beginning his ministry. Twenty-five years passed between the time when God first told Abraham that he would make him into a great nation and the time when Isaac, Abraham’s first son, was born.

But what am I supposed to do? Just wait? I can’t do that. I need to do something. I need a job to work. I need a skill to sharpen. I am about to have a wife to take care of. Not that she isn’t wonderfully capable of taking care of herself. She is incredibly independent. But I want to take care of her. I want to “take her under my wing” just like Boaz did Ruth. I want to hand her my debit card so she can go get groceries and cook us delicious meals. I want to pay all the bills and take care of everything. I want to do this because I love her.

This blog is not going to resolve. Because life hasn’t resolved. And my dreams are still aching to become reality. All I can say is that  I do not want to forget the dreams and I do not want to neglect reality. God, I ask you for vision and strength. Help my words to become flesh. Help your gospel to take root in my life. I ask that you would accomplish your will through me and I ask that you would receive all the glory. I believe that you are good. I love you. My heart is set on you. Amen.

2 thoughts on “The Awful Tension of Dreams and Reality

  1. Pingback: Weekend Compilation: my favorite blogs from this past week « G. C. Jeffers

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