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The Purpose of Your Dream

A Year in the Spiritual Life... Discover Your Purpose: The Purpose of Your Dream


The Purpose of Your Dream

Photo Credit: Creative Commons

Who am I?

I have struggled all my life with this question. I knew who I was in the sense that I was born into a certain family, or that I was the smart kid with the loud laugh, but inside, I struggled with the question of who I was meant to be.

As kids we all get asked at one time or another, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” For me there were always three things that I said, depending on my age or on my mood. I wanted to be a teacher, a singer, or (my favorite) Annie.

Little Orphan Annie ™ was made into the movie Annie when I was five or six. That bright smiling girl had spunk, daring, and moxie! At any moment she could break into a fight or break into song. I identified with her so strongly that I drove my family crazy with my rendition of “Tomorrow”.  

Rocky Balboa and Luke Skywalker were close seconds but Annie was always the forerunner for me. What do these fictitious characters have to do with discovering who I am? Nothing and everything! 

Those things that create a spark are things that give us a glimpse of who we are as individuals. What I like, (Annie for example) someone else may see as trite, or drivel. There are some who become excited by the idea of survivalist training or climbing active volcanoes. These things do not spark a passion with me because I was not wired that way. 

For me, being like Annie is more than singing "The sun'll come out tomorrow...." It is about standing up for what I believe in, fighting along side my friends, being a leader, enjoying the most out of life and never letting the really crummy circumstances drag me down. Her character reminds me to be a person of character and to press into life with all the guts and gusto I can. 

What sparks you? 

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. His passion was first the gospel and second the equality of his fellow man. Not just because of color, but in spite of it. He saw oppression and he could not stand by and say nothing. He believed the prophet Isaiah and took God's word to heart. 
"Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows." Isaiah 1:17
In his famous "Dream" speech he said this: 
"I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.
 This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.
 With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day....when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

The Purpose of a Dream

I am not talking about the "I ate too many tacos right before I went to bed" kind of dreams. I am talking about the dreams that are bigger than ourselves. The ones that take our breath with the sheer depth and breadth of them.

Dreams move us. They ignite us. They drive us, and too often, they leave us. Or I should say, we give up on them.

If you feel like you have lost your dream, you need to remember this. Joseph stood among his brothers as a kid. Snot-nosed, arrogant, and naive, he thought his dreams meant he had it all figured out.

Instead it took expulsion from his family, false accusations of rape, jail, working for the Pharaoh and then, when he least expected it, God brought Joseph's dreams to pass. Not for Joseph's sake, but for the sake of his family and two nations: Egypt and Israel.

Dreams are markers of God's faithfulness. They give us hope, they point us in the right direction, and they take root in our hearts. If we feed our dreams we can watch them grow, but only if we do not give up. Only if we keep pressing. If Joseph had given up when he was thrown down a well, or when he was thrown in jail unjustly...what would that have meant to the world years later? Who would have gone hungry or never received forgiveness?

No matter the circumstance, we must keep moving forward. Carving hope out of despair and transforming random notes of our life's music into a symphony of praise to God's faithfulness to bring all things to work together for the good of those who love Him. (Romans 8:28)

Dreams prompt us to act. To do. To stand up. To take notice. To put the world on notice. Dreams are creative and they are often closely tied to our purpose. They are the fuel that drives us, and they are a gift of God, who knew you before you were formed in your mother's womb and who's plans for you are good and hope-filled.

Live your life with a dream in your heart, your hand to the plow and your trust in the Lord and He will direct your path.

Join the Conversation

What is your dream?

"The Lord answered me, “Write down what I show you. Write it clearly on a sign so that the message will be easy to read." Habakkuk 2:2


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