In our early twenties, the world is wide and free. It’s full of opportunity and hope. Our ideals trump our experience and we join our heroes in the fight for a better world. Our lives will be great for we’ve seen the future in our dreams.
But our fathers only smile and shake their heads. They once had dreams as well, you know. Plans to prosper and not to harm, plans to give you hope and a future. They read it in the Bible (Jeremiah 29:11) and believed it. It’s the same faith they had when they were young but today they call it foolishness.
The bitterness of shredded hope despises big dreams. It knows that our ambitions will soon yield to the tears of reality. What the older folks have learned is that life doesn’t play out as we plan. The mind is free but we still need food and a place to stay.
The reality was too much and they gave up. Let the dreams escape my hearts! For if I don’t dream, I will not be crushed. They put down their weapons and raised the white flag. In the beginning, it helps to tune out the pain of shattered goals. But their dreams will not stop calling their names until they drown them in bitterness.
But when they hear the dreams of the youth and hear the vigor and passion in their voice, they get reminded of what matters to them. They tell them it’s all useless because it justifies why they never lived their dreams.
Facing the truth
We dream dreams for a reason. They are the expression of our purpose on this earth. What we want to see in this world to happen is what God planted in our hearts (Psalm 139:13). The only way we can do this is by living out what we were created to be.
As mature Christians, we need the zeal of our youth and the wisdom of age. We have to dream our dreams while staying grounded in reality. This requires grit and tenacity. We have to believe in the things God planted in our hearts.
And that’s not all, my friend. We have to walk it out as well. Faith without action is dead (James 2:14-26).
This can be a scary process. Potential failure, facing flack and unknown ground are good reasons to give up. But a warrior will face his fears and move towards it. He will accept the challenge to live for a price. He will fight for the crown of glory and run the race until he sees God’s dreams manifesting through him.
Rewards and legacies
There once was a man who tried a career in business and failed miserably. He applied for law school and was laughed out of consideration. Soon after that, he started another business with the money he borrowed from a friend.
That business tanked as well. He spent the next 17 years paying off his debt. His fiancee died soon after their engagement. Soon after that, he suffered a nervous breakdown. It took him six months to recover.
He ran for different public offices many times in his career. He lost almost all of them.
But in 1860, the tables turned in an instance. He was elected to become president and lead the United States through the most devastating war in its history.
Abraham Lincoln’s legacy surpasses most presidents that came after him. He couldn’t have made the impact he did had he not pursued his dreams through his countless failures and setbacks.
Patience and endurance seem obsolete in a time of instant access to entertainment and information. But there is no way around them. Overcoming and accepting failure is part of our success. The adversary is what makes our victories great.