For some reason as we age we begin to lose the ability to dream. With each misstep of life, every mistake, and all of the unfortunate truths we hit our heads on we discover that our world of technicolor beauty dims just a little bit more and the colors become more muted and gray.
Our life disappointments start to pile up and with every defeat we become more sensible and responsible individuals. It begins one day when we finally admit that we can’t fly. Soon we are faced with the unavoidable facts of our physical limitations. We no longer believe we can out run the wind and then tragically clouds become just water vapor and tricks of light. One terrible afternoon in art class we discover we cannot draw. Others can sing but not us, others can dance, others are pretty, others are popular.
In silent desperation, we search for something that is ours to cherish and to celebrate only to have our hopes shattered . . . again. Soon it is our family and friends that are demanding that we no longer dream. We must settle down, get our heads out of the clouds, and keep our feet firmly planted on the ground. We are thrust into an adulthood of black and white, facts and figures, and our dreams are at long last destroyed. Even worse, we soon stop dreaming at all. On that day, we cease to grow as a person for we have become all that we will ever be. Without our dreams, we have nothing left to do but diminish as a person and die.
What a tragic loss that day is, not only for the one who ceases to dream but to the world around them. With the inability to dream we no longer can enjoy art or music. Without dreams we stop building, writing poetry, or fully engaging in life. When we lose our capacity to dream we lose with it the possibility of change and we truly become stuck in the here and now without hope of a future.
As adults without dreams we make the horrible mistake of thinking that our present hell is inevitable and eternal. We no longer try to improve our existence and we disbelieve anyone who tells us that there is another way. By giving up on our dreams we become bitter skeptics who not only have lost the color and music of their own life but see to it that everyone else loses as well.
Dreams are a picture of a preferred future, a reality that we hope for, a truth that has yet to be born. Dreams give us hope to take just one more step in the right direction believing that one day we will walk out of the desert of despair. Dreams allow us to soar when our wings are clipped. Our dreams give us permission to resist depression and to laugh at despair knowing that it will not have the final word. Good dreams take us forward to a more positive truth and a reality that supersedes our present existence. They are not mere fantasies but beautiful interpretations of what is more real than any fact born out of pain and failure.
God calls us to dream. He sees beyond our present state and knows who we are and who we can become. God sees his own glory released in us, a glory that sets us free from the self-imposed limitations of life that we have grown to accept. God desires for us to see ourselves as creatures of light, citizens of heaven, and of greater beauty than we can ever imagine. The dream God has so beautifully crafted for each of us is a reality in which we are whole, at peace, and filled with joy.
Well-meaning voices of the status quo demand that we stay forever rooted in our present reality. God calls us to accept his vision of our future a future that he has paid for through his son Jesus. It is a future that we can only imagine until that day that it becomes our new reality.