A pinched weary voice, drones, “Number 7, 000, 899. Now serving 7,000, 899, please.”
Everybody in the cramped, stale, waiting room, frantically checks their numbered paper slip. Many groans fill the air, some throw their hands in the air in defeat while bolting for the exit, while one lucky soul, exclaims, “Yes! That’s me! Finally!”
Pleading with the room, to justify this occasion, he says, “You don’t understand just how long and how hard I’ve worked for this day. Yes!” He runs forward to the elusive, the seeming ever-unattainable door marked, ‘Fulfilled Dreams’. The rest of the dreamers look on with longing, whispering, “Will my turn ever come?”
Does this illustration ever feel like you? In it, are you the one lucky soul or the many still waiting? I’m happy for you, no really I swear I am, if your lifelong dreams have been realized. If you are anything like me, though, you’re still sitting among the other anxious dreamers in that waiting room.
Please do not misunderstand the meaning and intention behind this post, I am grateful for my life. Beyond measure. I love my family with a fierce, indescribable love, and I am so grateful for the health and many many blessings the Lord has placed in my life.
But I guess that’s just it, the Lord has also placed a dream in my heart that I can’t shake. I can’t run from it, and believe me I’ve tried. That may sound strange– why run from writing? Because I was scared, and still am. What if I try? What if I write my heart out, bleeding out the words that have lived in my head and heart for years, spilling parts and pieces of myself onto those pages, and then. . . nothing. No one wants it. It’s rejected. Better to not try at all, right? But my heart breaks when I don’t write. I am not me when I don’t write. And so, I must press on.
What’s a gal (or guy) to do? What should we do while waiting for dreams to be realized? Well, the way I see it, we have a few options and not all of them are good:
- We can become the Whiny Dreamer.
- We can become the Lazy Dreamer.
- We can become the Active Dreamer.
Symptoms of a Whiny Dreamer:
- Life’s not fair. If only X, Y, and Z had happened or not happened, then that dream that’s supposed to be mine, would be.
- I deserve that dream and those that already have it, haven’t worked as hard or as long as I have.
- Why do I have to wait? God, what are You doing? Are You listening?
Symptoms of a Lazy Dreamer:
- Yes, I want this dream, but I don’t want to have to do the elbows-deep hard work, research, trial and error, continuing education, or the planning that it will require.
- I want to have this dream fall into my lap. The minute it gets tough, I may revert to the Whiny Dreamer.
- Waiting Room for Dreams? Yes, that sounds perfect. I’ll just do what I absolutely have to, then sit back and wait for that dream to come to me.
- Whenever possible, I will get others to do the work for me and become angry when they are not invested in the project the way that they should be.
Okay, pause. I know these sound a little harsh, but I have both known others like this that professed to have a big dream or goal they wanted to achieve, and I have myself been these types of dreamers from time to time. Sometimes the grand scale of a Big Dream scares us to death and makes us behave in unpleasant ways, but this is where I encourage you to instead be an Active Dreamer.
Symptoms of an Active Dreamer:
- I will not sit back and wait for a Big Dream to come capture me. I will run with every effort toward it. Do the work, do my part in the Divine. Realize that God will not hand this to me on a silver platter.
- I will understand that there actually is no such thing as a ‘Waiting Room for Dreams’, but rather a community of other dreamers to encourage, to walk with, laugh with, and help out along the way.
- Won’t expect others to do the work for me, but I will ask for help when needed. I will take responsibility for my own dream and the work that goes into it.
- Continue to educate myself, won’t assume to know everything, but humbly continue on the path of lifelong knowledge.
- Won’t blame God, problems, and obstacles in life for not having achieved this dream. Rather, I will seek God’s help and wisdom as to how these obstacles and past circumstances may serve to strengthen and ready me for the path I’m on now.
- I will not give up.
Go, dream big! Do not fall into the trap of being a spectator on the sidelines of dreams and goals. Don’t just sit there in the ‘Waiting Room’. Be an Active Dreamer! I will too. Some days it is not easy, I know. Let’s keep going though. Going back is not an option.
I’d love to hear what others are working toward. Do you struggle with being an active dreamer?
Image thanks to freedigitalphoto.com