Tuesday, June 8, 2010
When I Dream
My friend, Janet, has a darling three year-old named Abbie (Abigail Elizabeth). This child is hysterical. She has the best little sense of humor and the highest energy level known to mankind. She can keep up with any child her age, including the boys, and is more aware of her surroundings than most adults. She is sweet, loving, active, and smart. Everyone loves Abbie.
A few months ago, Abbie and her mother were in the car, just out and about. Janet saw an airplane in the sky and pointed it out to Abbie. She asked her daughter, "Abbie, wouldn't you like to ride in that plane?". Without missing a beat, Abbie replied, "No, Mama. I want to DRIVE the plane.". I nearly died laughing when Janet told me this story. This is so typically Abbie. She dreams big.
I have thought about this story many times, recently with a different perspective. As a child, I,too, dreamed big. I dreamed of being a gospel singer and traveling across the country doing concerts with other gospel singers. I dreamed of being a writer and having my book sit on bookstore shelves while people waited in line for me to sign their copy of my work. I dreamed of teaching literature to college students and inspiring them to love English poetry as much as I do. I dreamed of a house in the country with a wide porch, a porch swing and lazy summer days sipping sweet tea to my heart's content. I did, indeed, dream big.
When I gave my heart to the Lord, though, my dreams began to change. I began to think about mission work, tent revivals, and youth fellowship. I began to dream of souls being saved, lives being changed, and the hopeless finding hope again. I began to weep for the lost and hurting of this world as I prayed for healing and restoration. I dreamed of being a source of inspiration and courage to those same souls whose lives seemed so despairing and dead. I dreamed big for God.
Unfortunately, as my own life began to pass by, I encountered devastation and heartache so intense that my dreams fell by the wayside. Not only did my dreams become small, they soon ceased to exist. I had lost hope---my dreams had failed. I lost the desire to dream again. I wrote in my journal during this time, "I have no dreams to dream. It is all so pointless. I am to old to dream anymore.". Life had won. My dreams had died.
It was after the birth of my first grandchild, Gabriel, that I began to think I might be able to dream again. As I held his baby face close to mine, I began to think of the things I hoped life would bring to him. Do I dare to say I dreamed big for Gabriel? Am I saying to you that this tiny being---this baby for whom I would be willing to give my life---is the reason for my dreaming? Yes, I am saying to you that with the birth of Gabriel, my outlook for the future began to change. I began to want things for him, to dream of what I would be to him, to think of the things we would do together and the lessons I would teach him. I wrote a lullaby for him, rocked him to sleep, stared at his baby face as he napped, and felt stirrings in my soul for the kind of man I dreamed he would be. Like Abbie, I began to dream big again.
Since that wonderful awakening, I have come to realize the importance of dreaming. Dreaming is defined as, "having a hope or aspiration; to consider something as being possible.". WOW! That definition alone inspires me to continue dreaming. I have hopes, aspirations, and dreams. I dream of being so close to God that I can feel the smallest urging of His presence. I dream of seeing my children and my grandchildren become great warriors of faith. I dream of growing old in the Lord and becoming wise in Him with the passing of time. I still dream of inspiring others to know Jesus by the reflection of Him they may see in me. I dream of knowing Him more intimately as time goes by. I dream of eternity in His presence.
Dreaming, having hopes and aspirations, seeing life's possibilities---is so important to a life of joy. Only when we can dream, and dream big, can we truly see the potential of what life has to offer. God gave us the ability to dream. He offers us, through our dreams, a vision of what life can be if we submit our dreams to Him. We do our part by dreaming big. He does His part by showing us how.
I am still dreaming and am recording those dreams in my journal. I don't want to forget the smallest detail of the possibilities of my life. So, yes, I still dream and when I do, I dream big. Just like Abbie.