Dreams are funny things. They can be formed when we are very young, at a time when we least have the necessary information about life and the world to make the best judgements. As we grow up and encounter vicissitudes in their multitude, our dreams may never actually be realized. Whether it be due to our naive unrealism, or be it the inevitable predatory and corrosive nature of society, we may end up feeling disillusioned and discouraged.
It is not necessarily a bad thing to feel disillusioned or discouraged. The new-age self-help movement, mirrored in the therapeutic moral deism of Christian religion, often touts the need for us to never feel bad, sad, or down. These false ideologies promote a form of self-indulgent avoidance of pain and suffering, with a corollary fixation on manifesting our own pipe-dreams at whatever cost, notably through the use of the law of attraction in some shape or form. But this approach never works.
There is hardly any recognition that the dreams of our youth may not have been good for us. Naive and untethered to who we are, probably a product of internalized expectations and yardsticks of authoritative others, these dreams may actually be countervailing to what is truly beneficial and fruitful for us. The incessant socially-conditioned drive to actualize our dreams is hardly ever critiqued or questioned. This is tragic. We end up feeling disappointed with ourselves or depressed because of some nebulous dream we grew up with that we failed to achieve. Dreams are in fact not our own to make. Our individualistic culture coupled with Hollywood and Oprah might give us this impression. It is nothing but a lie. Egotism cloaked as the American Dream does not cut it. It is folly for us to emulate this ideal for our own lives and our culture.
Am I saying we should not dream? Not at all. Yes, we can and do dream. But we dream not dreams of our own making but dreams in the context of the larger whole, undergirded by the ultimate ground of all dreaming—the divine Dream Giver, God. Our lives are not our own. Our lives are not about us. It is all about God. God's purpose is paramount for you and me and all creation. We do not define our own purpose. But God has a purpose for each one of our unique lives. God has a dream for each one of us. God is the Caller with a calling for us all. We are not our own but belong to God.
As we believe into God, into Christ as the Treasure and Lord of our lives, we begin to adopt God's purpose and mission for all of us—be witnesses of Christ to the ends of the earth; to participate in Christ's redeeming work and usher in God's kingdom; to form and fill the earth to be eventually made new by God. As we flow more and more in His sovereign purpose, we also experience the unfolding of God's distinctive calling for us as we play our unique part in His cosmic orchestration and creative symphony. In other words, we entrust all that we are and all that we do to God in Christ. We surrender all our dreams to the Dream Giver's dream for us. Remember this: it is not about us. It is all about Him.
In total trust and absolute surrender, we find ourselves living His dream for us that confers unsinkable joy, unbreakable peace, and incomparable fruit beyond anything we can ask or imagine. Forget self-help pop psychology. Forget hypergrace prosperity falsehood. Forget shallow decreeing and declaring. Go deep into the triune God in Christ with all that you really are, warts and all, in Word and Spirit, and be enlightened beyond measure. Our God is worth your all. Be not afraid.