“So he immediately sent an executioner with orders to bring John’s head.” – Mark 6:27
“In dreams begin responsibility.” William Butler Yeats
“The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.” – Proverbs 16:9
Your life is going to be full of situations that are not going to turn out in the way you hoped they would. Be careful with your dreams. Dreams are delightful, but every dream is embedded with inevitable disappointment. Yes, for a rare few, their dreams come close to being reached, but none ever fully. Even if you don’t achieve your dream, you will still learn a lot of good things in the pursuit.
It is a longing for that which is not yet. This desire moves us to do now what we must do in order to land somewhere close to our imagined future. This orients our preparation. What you think about your future is already impacting who you are today. A dream is simply a desire.
Dreams have a sneaky way of becoming expectations; and unmet expectations can be a stale soup of discouragement, depression, and disillusionment. If your life heads in the direction of your dreams, you become more optimistic but if your dream-path begins to deviate, or obstacles pop up, discouragement can set in. If dreams are partially met, and you have experience good success, you may still find yourself unsatisfied. This happens because you never kept your expectations in check. You become the sum of your dreams, even before you achieve them. The wise leader manages both their met and unmet expectations. Many leaders are unable or unwilling to comprehend that the fulfillment of their dreams may look nothing like what they initially imagined. His plans are better than your dreams.
We still must dream. A dream is a delicious thing that nourishes the soul and strengthens the heart. Most of us know a dream by its other name: hope. Dreams turn the head in the direction one should take, but it is applied wisdom that defines the path.
Thankfully, there are also many undreamed dreams that come true. For you, there are great things in store. There are blessings beyond which you could ever imagine, expected, or dreamed. You already know that you’re destined for success. That is your blessing. That is your curse.
Your call to ministry, while you may get to keep your head, is similar to John the Baptist’s. You must prepare the way of the Lord. Your dreams and expectations must bow to the Will of Christ. As John said, we must decrease and Jesus must increase. We can have our dreams, but our dreams must submit to His plan. We are not the Savior. He is.
Keeping our motive clean is fundamental for dreaming. Albeit, all dreams have some false motive. It is impossible to separate our selfish desires from our godly ones. There is so much self in our desire to be a success for the Kingdom. Ego is so intertwined with our calling that it hard to separate. It is like trying to do brain surgery (which I have yet to ever do successfully). The parts just don’t seem to come apart easily.