Learning to Dream Again

When you look at this old house, what comes to mind? Do you wonder what happened to the people who once lived here? Do you wonder why they abandoned their home?

old-house.jpg

When we reflect a bit longer on this dilapidated building, it occurs to us that it may well represent something more. At the very least it suggests the possibility of shattered dreams and dashed hopes.

You can easily imagine a young couple surveying this site in some yesteryear talking about how it is the perfect place for their dream home. You can easily imagine this same couple talking about the dreams they have for their future together, along with the exciting possibilities each of their children brought. Did they imagine themselves teaching their grandchildren how to fish in the spring-fed pond out back?

Why did this building fall into this state of disrepair? What caused the residents of this home to abandon their dreams which compelled them to make this house a home? Perhaps they didn’t lose their vision for the future. That is a possibility. Yet, the photograph does suggest the possibility that something happened. Something derailed them. Perhaps some tragedy overwhelmed them, robbing them of their imagined future. What could it have been? Why did it occur?

In a sense this building represents the disappointments and dashed hopes that most of us have encountered. Some of our dreams have been shattered. We’ve known stagnation and frustration in our careers. We’ve experienced trouble in relationships with the people that matter most in our lives. We’ve known the emptiness of hearts grown cold and spirits that have lost their sparkle.

While our curiosity prompts us to wonder just what happened and why it happened, would it not be better to inquire whether or not they were able to overcome? And, if they did, how did they overcome? This seems to be the central issue of our lives. When our dreams have been shattered, how do we learn to dream again? How do we shape a positive vision for the future, when our house needs an extreme makeover?

I believe we can learn to dream again. I’m confident that God wants us to do so. I am persuaded that the Scriptures point out this positive path forward. While I believe the following verses articulate three steps we can take, I wouldn’t suggest to you that solutions come easy—that there will be no costs, no challenges. Consider Paul’s reflections recorded in Philippians 3:12-14…

[12] Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. [13] Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, [14] I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

This text seems to suggest that the Apostle Paul’s strategic plan for shaping a positive vision for the future. I would suggest that this can be summarized by the following imperatives:

1) BE REALISTIC about whose you are, where you are and where you are going. Verse 12 says, in part, “…I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.”

2) BE RESOLVED
to live “in the moment” applying every ounce of your energy to what lies ahead, being utterly oblivious of and completely unconcerned about what has occurred in the past, putting it completely out of mind—not crying over spilt milk, nor resting on your laurels. Verse 13 concludes with, “…Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.”

3) BE REALISTIC about whose you are, where you are and where you are going! Consider what Paul says is his guiding philosophy in verse 14, “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

The positive path forward, the means by which we are able to shape a positive vision for the future, begins and ends with Jesus. It involves unwavering resolve to look above and move beyond the futility and failure of the past, living each moment in passionate pursuit of God’s promises for brighter tomorrows. This is the way of Jesus. This is the way of Jesus for our lives. This seems to be the theme that runs through one of my favorite passages of Scripture.

[1] Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. [2] We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. [3] Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up. –Hebrews 12:1-3, NLT

We learn to dream again by keeping our eyes on Jesus! May God help us all to do just this!

© Bill Williams
May 19, 2007

About a fellow sojourner

a sojourner in life, trying to follow in the steps of Jesus.
This entry was posted in Blogroll, Christian Living, HOPE, Life, Spiritual Renewal. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Learning to Dream Again

  1. Stan says:

    >Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.

    Amen.

  2. Neva Cooper says:

    It helps to remember that the dreams He has for us are even bigger than the ones we dream.

    Peace
    Neva

  3. jel says:

    Morning Bill,
    This is a great post,
    I love to go though old house, And think to myself if these wall could talk, what would they say!,

    and yes we need our dreams, I use to Dreams alot that’s what kept me going, but then I quit, Dreaming.

    But thanks to some very good friends and getting back in to reading God’s word , I’m back to Dreaming! 😉

    I like what Neva, said too!

    and Thank you!

  4. Laymond says:

    well Bill I like to look to the bright side of things, I have been accused of being an optomist. I would like to think of the old house as a dream fulfiled, maybe the couple who enjoyed this home raised their children and they moved on to bigger and better things. maybe the old couple have moved on to better pastures also. when I see a person of greater age I don’t see a life wasted I see a person with a job almost completed. one who is going to leave this tent behind and move into a mansion, a mansion promised by the creator.

  5. Donna says:

    I don’t know why you updated this post today….but it showed up in my bloglines and was a message I needed desperately right now.

    Thank you Bill!

  6. John Smith says:

    Bill, thanks for helping me along my path to learning to dream again. I’m going to use this for an ohana (ohana) means family in Hawaiian, meeting I’m having tommorrow night at my house. I stopped dreaming about ten years ago while I went through some major depression. The philippians 3:12-14 is a major verse in my recovery process. God has healed me of my depression and is opening up my eyes to His will again. My wife and eight children are helping me to dream again too. Thanks againg,
    With love in Christ,
    John
    Aloha!

  7. Jesus always taught us to look on the bright side of things, and dreaming is one such option

  8. Vince says:

    Bill, you helped me along my journey. Thanks.

  9. Lynda says:

    I am afraid to dream. I have been so disappointed and constantly falling down. I don’t know how to start again.

  10. jom says:

    thank for reminding me again to dream for my future and for my career because when i did not finish my study i end up all my dreams that is everything is stop in my life… but now i am happy because you teach me again and you remind me that what matter failure you had in life don’t give up all the dreams you had in life….. thank you…i am hope that not only me could read this article…

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