This is not the future I planned

Published 10:14 pm Friday, November 16, 2012

A few years ago there was a TV commercial for a certain career website that still makes me laugh almost uncontrollably. It depicted a collection of children telling what they wanted to be or do when they grew up. “When I grow up I want to file all day long. I want to climb my way up to middle management … be replaced on a whim. I want to be a yes man! When I grow up I want to be underappreciated.” And on it went.

Watching that commercial a handful of years later on YouTube, I still find myself laughing to near hysteria. While the notion that any child would dream of one day working an unfulfilling job is hilarious, the truth is that many former children are doing exactly that. People feel trapped in unfulfilling jobs. Many people today move from one unrewarding, fruitless job to the next in an endless cycle of seeking satisfaction, not finding it and looking elsewhere. The same is true of marriages, in families and in friendships.

Some people have only a vague hope for the future, if they are hopeful at all. One day fades into another as dreams fade away. It should not be so. Dreams are the fuel for tomorrow’s reality. To realize them we’ve got to be willing to step out into the scary world of pursuing a God-given dream. Too often God places a dream in our heart and we answer back to God, “I’ve got kids, bills, it cannot be done. I’m just stuck.”

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The Bible says that man was made in God’s image. If this is true, then how can we say that it is right to not dream big dreams since God Himself imagined the universe before it existed and after having imagined it, spoke it into existence? Around my house, boredom is a curse word. This is because when we say we are bored we mock the wonder of God’s creation and the abundance of what He has bestowed upon us — the consequence of His grand imagination.

Life is an adventure. I like the way Gene Wilder’s character Willy Wonka said it in the 1971 film “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” “We are the music makers … and we are the dreamers of dreams.” Sometimes we have to wait for our dreams to come true, and they almost always involve sacrifice and hard work. What God-birthed dream lives inside of you? What is holding you back from fulfilling it? Is it fear, are you afraid of looking foolish to those around you, or perhaps you’re scared to step into the unstable unknown, leaving behind the sure footing of your present life?

It’s a funny thing about an oak tree; it gets a lot of praise for being steady and immovable by people who pass it by on their way somewhere else. Roots may provide stability, but they also rob of adventure. When we dream God’s dreams for us we find out that we were made for more than getting by. Life is supposed to be an adventure, not a chore. “Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD!” (Psalms 31:24 ESV)