“If you could have your dreams fulfilled, what would you have?” The question that I was asked was not quite that direct, but that is what they were asking. It’s a question that immediately gets your mind racing and filling with possibilities. What do your dreams look like, and what if they were fulfilled? The only problem with that scenario, is not that it isn’t possible, but it creates the next question: What then? If you were to suddenly have every dream fulfilled, what would you do? There would be nothing left to work for. How would you fill your days?
I have always been a dreamer. My first grade teacher said that I would become a great author or the world’s biggest liar — at least that’s the version my mother told me. My mind could always conjure up great fantasies. But they always come back to the last question. What then? The reality is, we would never be satisfied. There would always be that next thing. Something new. Something bigger. Something better.
The problem is not a new one. Jesus was teaching among the crowds, and, “Someone in the crowd said to him, ‘Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.’ Jesus replied, ‘Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?’ Then he said to them, ‘Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.’” It goes on to say later in that passage in Luke 12, “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.”
Our lives are not lived in toil to accomplish our dreams. Our dreams live to encourage us to accomplish our daily toil. Our own happiness and peace of mind is at stake. We must have work for our hands to accomplish or we lose our sense of purpose. Our dreams are that proverbial carrot in front of the horse to make us go. When our lives are focused on our pleasures, that inward focus will eventually destroy us. Our lives are lived best in service to others. Whether that service is maintaining the roads for people to use, repairing and replacing plumbing and heating, or restoring communications so that we can reach out and touch someone, it is what we do for others that will last.
I have always been a dreamer. Lately my biggest dreams are of a small cabin in the woods somewhere without neighbors. A place of peace and tranquility, where I can take a walk with the dogs anytime without them cowering in fear because someone set off some fireworks or discharged a gun. A place of solitude where other people’s needs and wants don’t dictate my schedule. But I know that if I ever found that place and settled down, it wouldn’t be long before I wanted to take a road trip. After all, our lives are not about dreaming, but about living. And our living is about the journey and keeping other’s dreams alive. Our lives do not consist in the abundance of what we have, but in the richness of the friends we have around us.