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Pursuing God's Dream

I grew up in a fairly conservative Protestant world where we went to church twice on Sundays, once on Wednesday and whenever the church doors were open. My dad lead the high school youth group; my mom led the lower elementary youth group (called King's Kids). For those who know of AWANAS, Patch the Pirate Club or some other entity, I never heard of them until I turned 12 when I moved from Pennsylvania to New York.

Throughout my childhood, I was told that 'God has a plan for your life. Find it, and pursue it'. I realized that it wasn't necessarily a magic wand or some great elusive quest to find the plan, but something that I was to pursue, follow, evaluate and execute. I knew my strengths and my likes, so I pursued those paths. After all - who wants to work at a job they don't like and are unqualified for if she can do something that she loves and is gifted to do?

The River Suck in Ballinasloe, Co. Galway Ireland
My personal belief is that God gives each of His followers a dream, but He doesn't leave the followers hanging without the skills needed. He provides them with gifts both spiritual and physical; talents and insights that provide them with the necessary knowledge and experience. Yet, sometimes those dreams distract us, and frustrate us. This article on Relevant Magazine's website, What If Your Dream Costs More Than You Think? explores the concept about God giving us dreams.

Take the time to go read the article.

Very few tasks of any importance are easy. Often, we find that it takes perseverance to pursue the dreams that are given to us. Some of the dreams might be are own; some might be God's dreams for us. Few of us have visions like Joseph had, but all of us who pursue God know that there are ideas that dog us until we focus on them. Joseph did not know how God would fulfill the dream He gave Joseph, but Joseph followed God, knowing that God would do as He said.

What are the struggles that you face right now? Not enough money coming in? Rejection from those you think should support you? Maybe, something unexpected threatens to derail your path. Maybe, you stand at the edge of a small river, afraid to take the step that you  need to take.

The photo above is in Ireland at the end of a road that leads back to a restaurant where boats can tie up. The River Suck (pronounced Sook) is a small tributary to the River Shannon, Ireland's longest river, and the major artery of the West. This particular portion of the River Suck is near a small town called Ballinasloe, population: 7,674 (according to Wikipedia). It's a rural community, where everyone knows most everyone else, but launch away from the dock, and you can sail to the Shannon and eventually to the Atlantic Ocean.

The question is: will you launch? You will never know precisely everything that will happen to you. Your dreams are going to hurt you because you must grow. There will be times when all you can do is sit back and weep; there will be times that you can shout for joy, but the times that are the longest will be the endless stretches where you simply press forward because you know you must. The difficulty with stories is that they provide only the highs and lows, never the monotony of daily existence because monotony is boring.

What is the cost to pursue your dreams? I don't know, because I don't even know how much my dreams cost. I know the pain, the heartache and the happiness that comes from pursuing them. I know the struggles and the sorrows that my parents and sister face, but ultimately, I don't know the cost whether for my dreams or the dreams that my family pursues.

I do know, however, that had I not chosen to pursue my dreams, the cost might have been less time, pain or energy; it might have cost more peace, joy and knowledge. Either way, it probably wouldn't have been worth the cost.

We will never know the lives we touch when we follow God's dream for our lives. The pains, struggles and failures we face may or may not be for us, but for someone else who watches us pick ourselves up and keep going.


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