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Heavenly Dreams - April 26, 2004

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In 2004, I had found that the work I was doing was being outsourced and I was retired - after never really making the career I'd hoped for - I was volunteering for the gift shop at church - fighting the weight problem from heck - things I had hoped for, seemed to be fading - son was busy with his own life and my trying to get very fit only went so far. I started to assess where I was and where I might be going and wrote the following:

We all want a future and from a young age, the world gives us dreams.  Hope for things we will do, tasks we will accomplish, places we will see.  Life stretches out endlessly ahead of us and we just know if we work hard for these dreams, we will accomplish them. When we see someone called to the Lord while still young, we lament that their dreams may have been left unfulfilled but when we know a 90 year old called to the Lord, we feel more serenity if we can say "They lived a good life, full of good things." (Good life being defined in worldly terms of wealth, fame and physical beauty). 

Some of my dreams were: 

  • be a famous concert violinist or play in a world famous symphony orchestra
  • produce a famous book
  • be on Oprah
  • have people calling me to speak about my accomplishments
  • get an honorary degree (PhD of course)
  • have an office with a skyline view
  • write a famous piece of software
  • have a body to kill for

The reality of my life is quite different.  I never made the cut for either the concert stage or a symphony orchestra, not even a less famous one (unless you count the volunteer orchestras I've played or the pick up one gig orchestras).  I play in church.  I never wrote a famous book either.  I wrote part of a book which isn't famous and never even got a byline for it.  I am mentioned in one or two other books and not always in the glowing terms I would like.  I've never been on national TV.  No one calls me to do glamorous speeches or even prestigious gigs.  The most glamorous I get is the occasional local strolling gig.  I never got any degree at all, not even one from a community college and the closest I got to an office with a skyline view was one on the 2nd floor of a downtown building which I shared with another person.  Some of my software is out on CD but it's all for DOS which has gone the way of the nickel beer.  And my body is short and round even though I exercise regularly and watch what I eat. Instead of a 6 pack in the abdominal area, I have a two roll!

If we don't accomplish our dreams, are we a failure?  I helped bring up a wonderful son and am wife to an awesome husband.  But lately my main problem was that I have run out of dreams so it appeared like I had nothing to look forward to except continuing to get older and finally to die.  I realize that these dreams are just fluff and we are actually in a small room with nowhere to go.    Are people who accomplish their dreams any better off than I am?  Not from what I've seen.  I've seen depressed Olympic gold medal winners who feel their lives are over while they are still in their 20's, I've seen women like Marilyn Monroe who had the epitome of the American dream (rich, famous and gorgeous) get deep into substance abuse and even commit suicide.  It seems that worldly dreams do not get us anywhere whether we accomplish them or not.  Depression city!

As it is not fun to live in a state of depression, I looked to see if there was a door in the small room of my now- dreamless life, a door I could open to a future. That's when I discovered --- Heavenly dreams!

Jesus has the answer.

Jesus answered them and said,
"Amen, amen, I say to you, you are looking for me
not because you saw signs
but because you ate the loaves and were filled.
Do not work for food that perishes
but for the food that endures for eternal life,
which the Son of Man will give you.

For on him the Father, God, has set his seal."
So they said to him,
"What can we do to accomplish the works of God?"
Jesus answered and said to them,
"This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent." (John 6:22ff)

Did you notice that none of my dreams were about 'food that endures'?  No wonder, I had no dreams - I was dreaming about the wrong thing.  In giving Jesus total control over my life and being concerned about the food for my soul I don't even have to be pre occupied about worldly dreams but can have dreams of a glorious eternal future, the happiness and serenity of which starts here on earth. 

A friend of mine knew a wealthy man who died suddenly of cancer.  This man told my friend "I have no regrets. I am wealthier than most people can ever dream of, I have traveled all over the world and experienced many things."  This statement had a hollow ring to my friend because the rich man had turned away from God years ago so my friend knew, deep in his heart, that the rich man had not really experienced the fullness of life and his death left a bitter aftertaste.

As for me, I have found the door to the future in the small room of my world and it is JESUS, Our Savior!

"If you have God there is nothing that you need.  If you don't have God, nothing else will do!"

Why did God create us?  To love Him and serve Him in this life and to be happy with Him in the next.  (First question, Baltimore Catechism)