The Death of Dreams

“Deeper than our instinct to live is our longing to be alive.” Erwin McManus, Uprising

At what point do our dreams start to fade? What age do we start to feel embarrassed by our dreams?

From as young as I can remember, I was taught to dream.
As a middle schooler, I can remember sitting outside of Candy Cane Inn at Disneyland and having a conversation with my older brother, Ryan. And I remember Ryan asking me to dream, to name it, and then he challenged me to write out the steps it would take to reach the dream. My dream? To be a professional baseball player.

I have an earlier memory, however, of being in a third grade class and being asked to by a DARE police officer what our dream was for life.

When I told him I wanted to be a professional baseball player, he laughed and proceeded to tell me only the tiniest of percentages of people become professional baseball players, and it might be wise to dream of something different.

Why do some people fan the inspiration behind dreams and why do some people feel the need to squash them?

Because dreams are dangerous.

I’ve noticed that the older I get, the harder it is to dream.

Reality sets in.
Failures have made their mark.
Bills to pay, mouths to feed.
We listen to the voices of cynicism and mockery over the voices of encouragement and challenge.

In other words, I’ve learned along with many others that dreams are dangerous. And they become more dangerous the older we get.

But I don’t want age to have the final say.

No. See, I want to live. Truly live. And I’ve noticed that the more I dream, the more alive I feel. While it’s difficult to dream in the face of death – the voices of cynicism, mockery, and doubt — dreams are necessary to live. In fact, I’m starting to learn it’s more dangerous to NOT dream.

Tweet: While it's difficult to dream in the face of death - the voices of cynicism, mockery, and doubt - dreams are necessary to live. @johnalex5

While it’s difficult to dream in the face of death – the voices of cynicism, mockery, and doubt — dreams are necessary to live.

“The most dangerous person in the world is a person who does not understand how powerful God made them to be.” – Donald Miller

Dreams require faith, and faith is required in the midst of the impossible. And when we need the impossible, that’s when we need God and the power he has given us to most desperately show up. Dreams force us to intersect with God. And God makes us feel alive.

No matter the mockery, the doubt, the embarrassment or the potential for failure, I will dream.

What dreams do you need to resuscitate?

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4 thoughts on “The Death of Dreams

  1. Really interesting. I have also been thinking a lot about dreams recently. I think it started after reading Love Does and having a desire lit for “whimsy” :-). A question I have been gnawing on- would love to hear your thoughts! Given God’s instruction in Colossians to set our minds on things above, what place/how much space do you think we should make in our lives for dreams about this life vs. Spiritual dreams or aspirations. I know that is loaded. Ive been chewing on it for several days and would love to hear any ideas 🙂

    • Denise. Thanks for reading! I don’t know if I have the “right” answer for this, but I learned somewhere along the way that when we are pursuing the heart of God in life, we can trust the dreams God has put in our heart. There is a best version of “you” or “life” that God delights in – he delights in us just the way we are, and he delights in and desires the future us, specifically if we are pursuing the dreams he has given us. There is nothing in me that separates “dreams about this life” v. “spiritual dreams.” I think in many ways they are one and the same. In the past, I used to get paralyzed over that very question: “Is my dream from God?” Or, “Is it just my own selfish dream?” Nowadays, I’m not as concerned by that question and trust that as I pursue the heart of God, God is making the dreams inside my heart. This line of thinking has really been influenced by Erwin McManus, Donald Miller, and of course, the Bible!

      Hopefully that makes sense. I’d love to hear what you think as you wrestle with this!

    • “trust that as I pursue the heart of God, he is making dreams in my heart” Love that! That reminds me of the Psalm that says “He will give you the desires of your heart.” When I was growing up I always thought that meant He would give you waht you wanted. I don’t remember when I first heard the interpetation that God would plant His desires in our hearts. But that makes a lot of sense to me. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Pingback: The Dreams for This Season | At The Garage

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