Every man wants to be something. Most times, we do not know what. Many of us switch goals and dreams more often than the seasons. In most cases, we do not become what or who we want to be. If this were the case, the world would be over-loaded with firemen, policemen, superheros and astronauts, as every little boy holds these dreams at one moment of time or another.
The hard truth is, our goals and dreams are often morphed by whatever is happening in our lives at that moment. For example, in my life, I used to have a dream of being a cop with a K-9 partner. That dream ended in Middle School when I was told by a teacher how difficult it was to be a cop, much less one who got a dog. At that moment, I elected to play professional baseball. Well, that dream died on a Christmas Eve while having a conversation with a relative who, I am pretty sure, took great pride in bringing me back down to earth. Further more, during High School I really had no concrete dreams. I went from wanting to be a musician, to a photographer, to a teacher, to an actor, to a sound engineer. When college rolled around, I wasted my first few years (and consequently, lots of money) switching majors a half-dozen times. I started in teaching, went to business, then to music and sound engineering, then to dropping out. Even as an adult I have waxed and waned on what I want to do with my life, or, with who I want to be.
I believe the dreams for the common man die because of four things. One, they die because they are crushed by outside influences. These influences are often like my aforementioned relative who explain why most dreams are not possible. people feel it is their duty to make sure we pick goals that best fit the worlds status quo. Others feel it is their god-given duty to explain why one cannot do whatever it is you feel called to or that desire to do.
The second reason dreams die is the most common, a failure to confront our fears or adversities. Many of us have never learned the proper ways to deal with failure. Instead of seeking the opportunity to learn from or draw upon our failures to better our race and commitment to our goal, we use it as our excuse to stop trying hard, or at all. It becomes our way to tuck our tails between our legs and to flee for the hills.
The third reason is because “real life” hits us. We realize we are getting older and adding more responsibility. The likely-hood and even the ability to take risks becomes less and less as we age, get a decent job, and start supporting our spouse and kids. It’s hard to risk our income and careers when there are others to care for besides ourselves. All risks become ever-so-calculated in order to make sure there is almost no risk at all.
The fourth reason comes down to the sovereignty of God. Our wills tend go against the plan God has set for us. We may think our chief end to this life comes through the measure of our financial success, or the amount of power we wield. In reality the chief end comes through glorifying our God. We are to glorify the same God who made us in His image so that others might know Him because of our light.
I believe the first two reasons are false and tend to hinder us, while the second two reasons are legit and need to be prayed through and well thought out. What a man needs to do when it comes to his dreams and goals for life is to surrender them to God’s will and be ready to give up those that do not mesh with the plan God has laid out for him. He must also be ready to take the well calculated risks in faith when the time is right. Of course, this risk, like all moves we make in our lives, should be covered in prayer and discussed with those most important to us.
When looking at the goals and dreams in my life, I see most of my failures come through fear and adversity (see reason two). Many times I let my fear win and that is when I give up my dreams. Sometimes it is not that adversity came upon me quickly, but it slowly wore me down. Most things have not so-much-as blown up in my face, but rather slowly crumbled and decayed.
There are many nights when I think about all of the dreams I have had, and wonder what was to become of them. When do the dreams stop trying to come forth in my mind and manifest themselves into my everyday life? When does the pain of failed dreams finally leave my heart? When does the feelings of failure finally depart? On the other hand, when do the god-given dreams take hold and thrust me into the thick of His plan? When is the right time to start planning and dreaming boldly? When do I start acting on the dreams I believe come from beyond myself?
To be honest, this manifesto may sound like “love lost” or “dreams broken” when in reality it is the words of a man who has had many of his dreams come true and his life blessed beyond belief. These are the written words of a man who has been given to a wonderful, beautiful, godly woman. A man who is now a father of four wonderful kids. A man who has a house, a car, and lots of “stuff” that he does not really need. These words come from a man who finds he cannot simply stop dreaming. There are some dreams which will not die, no matter how many times he has given them over to God and asked for them to be put to death if they are not supposed to be in his head. These are the words of a man who is a visionary and cannot live a day without having a grand idea on how to change the world. A man who still wants to write, play music, and preach the Gospel. A man who wants to be the best husband and daddy he can be (with TONS of divine help and intervention).
These dreams will probably never go away.