I’m going to lay some of my cards out on table. I have a dream for my life. There are some specific things that I want to be doing within the next fifteen years, and I have been slowly grinding my* way towards them. For posterity’s sake, I want to lay them out. So, by the time I’m in my mid 40’s I want to be:
- Adjunct proffing at a small college/university
- Maintaining my small, but respectable, photography business
- Free-lance writing articles, short stories, etc.
- Be an unpaid, part-time, lay-pastor/shepherd a small upstart church
- Living anywhere on the coast from NorCal to Oregon
What do you think of that list? A little too pie-in-the-sky? Too good to be true? Nothing you want any part of? Understandable, but it doesn’t really matter what the case might be; There are two points that I want to make about my personal dream that I’d venture to guess many people don’t recognize when they are chasing their personal dreams (if they have any at all).
- I don’t have a mentality of, “I won’t be happy until…” or “THEN I’ll be happy”. I’ve played the game long enough to know that each of the things on my dream-list are not perfect, and they aren’t without their own enormous stresses and struggles. But here’s my secret; They are the stresses and struggles that I am willing to go through. I’ve fought through so many battles in jobs and in life that I know which ones I just don’t have the desire to go through again, and which ones I am completely willing to wade through for what I want out of life. Some hills I am willing to do battle on. Some places are worth standing in the gap for. I’ve chosen mine.
- Whether I get to these goals or not, I’ve learned (and I continue to learn) that life is less and less about whether I obtain each of my dreams, and more and more about the time and experiences between them. The people who I’ve met and the experiences that I’ve had aren’t just trivial matters that were in between where I was and what I wanted. Rather, they were the things that gave life depth and meaning; they are what continues to make life incredible. What good would any of my dreams be if I were to have no one to celebrate them with? What does it matter if I achieve anything, only to find that I am alone in it?
My personal dreams for my future have been more and more a part of my framework as I have gotten older. They compel me more than they used to. No, I’m not keeping score as to whether I reach them or not, though I really do want each one of them. I realize in a legitimate sense that because I believe in God, some might ask, “What if that’s not God’s plan for you?”.
If they do, I’ll just smile, and refer them to my new dear friend, Clark Pinnock.**
*I can’t just say it’s my dream. My wife and I have slowly set our sites, cautiously, but also in a calculating manner, on what lies ahead in our life. We’ve owned every decision that we’ve made thus far together, and we have met life with an overall success that I don’t think either of us could have imagined.
**Yes, this is a one line theological cop-out to going into further detail on the matter, but that’s not the purpose of this post. Thus, as the author and curator of these writings, I get to end posts however I want.