As a favored child growing up in his father’s home, he had big dreams. In his dreams, even his own family deferred to him. In his youthful inexperience he shared his dreams with his hostile, older brothers. They didn’t share his enthusiasm for such dreams. They registered their disapproval in violence, betrayal and deceit. Exile in a foreign land, life as a slave and then a prisoner, nearly choked the young man’s dreams to death. His own family proved to be dream-stealers.
Do you remember the day? The day when your dreams died. You began with such fervor. Then something happened. Some older “wise” one explained to you how it could never be as you hoped it would…how it was not for someone like you to accomplish such…that it was really silly to think so in the first place. Get your feet on the ground and your head out of the clouds! Dream-stealers!
A third-grade boy followed his mom down the road. She was carrying a packed suitcase…said she was leaving her ungrateful family…had all she could take. He followed, pleading for her to come back home. She eventually did. But he was changed, haunted by insecurity, by the realization that at any moment his mother could choose to just walk out on him. Dream-stealers!
Paul Simon wrote, “I don’t know a soul that’s not been battered, I don’t have a friend who feels at ease. I don’t know a dream that’s not been shattered or driven to its knees.” Maybe life has done it to you, too. Is the bounce gone from your step…the sparkle from your eye? Does the approaching dawn find you dreading its arrival? Have you succumbed to the notion that all that has been is all that can be? Have you traded in your sense of wonder for holy dullness? Is there nothing profound left in life for you?
Now it’s true that some dreams ought to be forgotten. At five feet, five inches tall, I longed to be able to soar up there and dunk a basketball. But I was no Spud Webb. The dream needed to go and, in time, it did. I came to it on my own. We don’t need “dream-stealers.” But they seem to swarm everywhere.
In the Bible, Joseph’s dreams must have seemed very far away while he was imprisoned in Egypt. His parents, his brothers, his life experiences challenged his dreams. But his dreams were God-given. He would not give up on them. Of course there is a difference between our dreams for ourselves and God’s dreams for us. It is vital for us to embrace God’s plans for our lives. We will never outgrow or outlive such dreams. In the day when God made His Holy Spirit available to all, it was said, “Your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.” (Acts 2:17) I know that has to do with God’s communication of His truth in the first century. But it is still the spark that God provides that inspires the young and the old alike. In Jeremiah 29:11, He has this for us…For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Have your dreams taken a beating? Jesus didn’t come to earth to wither the lives of people. He came to give real life…life that shines and sparkles and lasts forever. He came to give you THE DREAM…the one no one can steal from you, if you don’t let them…the one that lasts with ever-increasing joy and wonder forever…the dream of eternal life in the glorious presence of our loving Father God.