The world is filled with a plethora of dream smashers. They are every where you turn, and always present themselves when you have tried to believe for something greater to be accomplished. The voices sometimes come through well-meaning relatives and friends, which is hardest to ignore. Other times, you simply run into a brick wall and are almost convinced to give up. In a culture of ever-increasing self-focus and ever decreasing opportunity, what do you do with what has been held inside your heart so long that you’ve almost forgotten it? What do you do when a dream refuses to die, even when you try to lay it to rest?
Personally, I feel I have longed for my dreams all my life. There have been many life experiences that have tried to rob me of what my heart has longed for. I believe that God has made me with certain qualities, specific strengths, and that my life’s purpose will unfold through the use of those abilities as I give myself to His Lordship. The negative life experiences, while trying to chip away at my identity at times, have been held and used by God to actually result in a positive effect for me and in a way that only God can carry out.
When He allows difficulty and trials in our lives, the thing is to refuse to let go of Him. Some days the choice is made several times, as life is hard. Some days you want to give up – but I have decided that’s an illusion anyway. So things are hard? When you give up, it’s not an escape. Why not refuse to let go of God’s hand and what you believe Him to be? He will never let go of you. He has never let go of me.
When I take the time to sit, pray, and listen – stopping to really dialogue with Him when things are painful and challenging, by default my face looks into His face. When I take time to worship Him – thanking Him for who He is, remembering the past things He has brought me out of, and seeing myself in His presence – my face looks into His face. I always and without fail emerge from that time together with more – more peace, more assurance that He is there for me, and more of that unique knowing that I am His.
We are made in His image and are created to reflect that to those around us. And not just on Sundays, but everywhere we find ourselves. Here’s a truth: I reflect what I worship. If my confidence is in myself, then that reflection will be lacking and weak and unsure. If my confidence is in my Heavenly Father, then the reflection carries a purity, a blessing, an anointing – and others are blessed by it as well.
In the play, The Man of La Mancha, Don Quixote is faced with many battles real and imagined. When he must face the Great Enchanter, “the most dangerous enemy of all good men”, Don Quixote prepares to do battle once more. This time is different for he finds he has no defense. The Great Enchanter carries as a weapon a bright, mirrored shield and Don Quixote can see nothing but his own foolish reflection. Defeated, he returns home to give in to pressure until he receives an unexpected guest from the inn who encourages him to not give up on “The Impossible Dream.”
Here are part of the lyrics to the song. Pay close attention to the last verse.To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow To run where the brave dare not go
This is my quest, to follow that star
No matter how hopeless, no matter how far
To fight for the right without question or pause
To be willing to march into Hell
For a heavenly cause
And I know if I’ll only be true
To this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm
When I’m laid to my rest
And the world will be better for this
That one man, scorned and covered with scars
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To reach the unreachable star
I see a word picture of Jesus in the last verse. Because He continued and did not give up, even though incredibly mistreated, we have renewed life and relationship. When you think of your life, ponder the dreams in your heart. Ponder the way God has so uniquely put you together – with strengths, abilities, and gifts. I wonder what dreams and plans He has had for you?
We will never run dry of dream smashers, those who are trying to convince us to give up or do things another way. And sometimes like Don Quixote, we may not know if our battles are real or imagined. The enemy of our souls, “the most dangerous enemy of all good men”, wants you to see a foolish reflection of yourself. If you look into any face other than God’s, you won’t get a true image of who you were made to be. Look into God’s face – how does He see you? What are the dreams in His heart for you? What does He want you to be willing to believe for? “I tell you if you have faith the size of a mustard seed…” Even with a little faith, God makes up what is needed.
Your purpose and mine, our destinies are on the heart of God. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.” NLT
Don’t give up. Don’t listen to the dream smashers. Never let go of God’s hand. He will see you through into a broad place, a place of healing where you come to know more of how much you are loved and valued, a place where you play a significant role. You are a masterpiece.
“The Impossible Dream” from MAN OF LA MANCHA (1972), music by Mitch Leigh and lyrics by Joe Darion.
(c) April 2010, Robin Lawrimore