Dreaming. If it were a person, I would walk right up to him and introduce myself by extending my hand towards him, and at the very moment our palms made contact, I would usher him into some type of body hold my younger brother taught me during his third grade martial arts class. I would hold him there until he told me exactly what I am supposed to do. I’d ask him, “When is my life going to start? When am I going to find that ‘calling’ I have looked and waited for since I was a young boy? I remember people telling me that I had the ‘fire’ in my eyes! So where is that calling I should pursue? Where is the life I have be dreaming about?” After getting all the answers I needed I’d release him and his, now purple, arm.
“Hey, sorry about that. But I just needed to know what direction I should be headed… I’m in my twenty-whatevers and there’s a lot of pressure to be-do-accomplish something.” Hopefully he would understand.
There has never been a time when I haven’t been doing something, but there is always an insatiable urge to dream of the next big something. I would dream of what the next big thing I could write home about was. In college, I needed to figure out my vocation, and figure it out fast. Maybe it was so I could bring peace to the hearts of others when they inquired about my future. Maybe it was to bring peace to my own. Whatever the case, I needed to always have something I was working towards. Last year I worked the best coffee gig in my hometown. I was a barista in a job that encourages ministry. Could there be a better job for a young christian dude working his way through college? I’d say no. Yet, I was discontent with the amazing gift that fell in my lap. Why? Because I HAD to be doing something greater. I don’t even know what tool to use to measure what could be greater but if I did I wouldn’t have a clue how to use it.
When we become discontent with the lives God has graciously given us, we are telling him our ways are better than his.
We are telling the creator of the universe, “Nice try, but theres something better out there then what you have currently given me.”
I dropped everything I knew five months ago and flew to Taiwan to study the bible. If I thought the amount I did in a day equaled the value of our worth, then, baby, I’d be worth a million bucks, and I would buy you that jacket you’ve always wanted. Sadly, it does not make me worth a million bucks. My day to day life is literally packed. A normal day consists of waking up in time to make it to class by 8 am. Homework after class usually ends some where around 9, 10, or 11pm. Sunday is my day off. I didn’t think I was really all that stressed by the work load until I noticed my hair thinning. The first time I saw how much hair I had lost, marriage crossed my mind, “I need to get a wife before all this is gone.” Luckily, I have what doctors call “telogen effluvium.” My body is basically saying, “I’ve got bigger problems to worry about and take care of. I don’t need to worry about hair growth right now.” Even with my busy schedule, I have to fight off the thoughts of discontentment. Discontentment of wanting to live my dreams right now. I’m positive if I were living my dream right now, I would battle discontentment and dreaming a new dream.
Dreaming is what brings hope and a healthy drive to something greater. The person undergoing chemotherapy dreams of overcoming and that dreaming fuels their hope and that hope brings life. The olympian dreams of becoming an olympian before they actually become an olympian. If you are Michael Phelps, that dream fuels your drive and the drive makes you the most decorated olympian in history. But there is a dark side to dreaming, and if that dark side were a vocation, I would be a professional in its field. Dreaming can clog our daily living and sabotage our future. I don’t know if some one said this to me, or I made it up, but the saying goes like this, “If you live with one foot in the past, and one foot in the future, you are pissing on the present.” When we don’t give today what it deserves we waste it.
In middle school, I dreamed of already being out of highschool, so homework became an obstacle I would avoid at all cost. Focusing on home work in high school was similar to Frodo’s journey with the one ring. I didn’t pay attention in math class because worship leaders don’t need math. What I would give to go back and carefully absorb everything I was meant to learn. I don’t want to live with one foot in the past because there is nothing I can do about it.
What I do have is today. What I can do with it is give the dang thing the best shot I have, knowing that one day it will be useful to wherever I end up.
Before David was king, he was out shepherding his father’s sheep day in and day out, diligently, before he did anything “great.” And thats what made him great. Who wants to tend the sheep every day while your brothers go out to war? Who would want to do it alone? Whether or not David delighted in his shepherding gig, he did it faithfully and with integrity. I would put stock in the notion that the diligence he gave each day helped lay the foundation that led to the most prosperous time in Israel’s history.
What about Jesus? Was he not living, eating, working, hanging out, and laughing before he stepped into the ministry that reconciled all humanity to God? Remember that shepherd boy David? Jesus is in his genealogy and called the son of David. Now you are twenty, have finished college and are having a quarter life crisis. Don’t worry, Jesus was a carpenter until he was thirty. The life he lived prior to his last three and a half years were just as important, and he knew it. Whether you call his journey to the cross his dream, he gave each day what it deserved. If he didn’t, why on earth would he wash his disciples feet the very night he would be given over to the people who were going to kill him?
We have our dreams, and they will come, but we also have today. So let tomorrow be. For tomorrow has enough troubles of its own.