Regular readers of the humble ramblings know that I have been had my world rocked by the book TrueFaced. The charming Mrs.Burchett and I just finished going through the DVD series with two wonderful couples. It has been amazing. We have been changed and challenged. A question from the final session has caused me to spend a lot of time in reflection. The question was pretty simple
When you were growing up, what dreams did you have for your future?
I tried to remember the dreams of a child growing up in Southern Ohio. My dream to be a Major League Baseball player died really quickly in Little League. It was somewhere around the time I saw my first breaking ball delivered by a pitcher that looked like he drove to the game. When my posterior was heading to 3rd base and the ball broke over the plate I suspected I should move on to the next dream.
The next dream was to be known. I don’t think I thought of being famous at that point. I just wanted people to know who I was. I wanted to be loved by everybody and respected and admired. Looking at my junior high experience that was a dream about as probable as a pro baseball career. For the overweight geek with bad glasses and worse haircut to dream of being admired and respected seems ridiculous in retrospect. But I somehow figured out I could put on a mask and be the funny guy. I was quick on my verbal feet and witty. I decided after high school to be a radio broadcaster. I did the disc jockey thing for a few years.
But that was not God’s dream for me.
I moved to television and then sports directing. I dreamed of becoming a big time network sports director. I watched World Series and March Madness and dreamed how I could be there someday. At a couple of places along the road it seemed the break might happen to move in that direction.
But that was not God’s dream for me.
I began to follow my long desire to write. I miraculously had a book published. I dreamed of being a best-selling author.
But that has not been God’s dream for me.
I looked over the landscape of my life and reviewed what God has done. God has taken a frightened, insecure, cynical man and patiently molded me into something better than I could have dreamed. I have not become famous. I will never direct the Super Bowl or World Series. I doubt I will ever see my name on the NY Times bestseller list.
But I realize that God’s dream for me has become my dream. To paraphrase a thought from TrueFaced. I have finally come to believe who God says I am. I am no longer trying to change into another person. I finally trust that God has made me exactly who He wants me to be. The change in my life is not God changing me. That happened when I trusted Jesus as my Savior. The change in my life is trusting who God says I already am and maturing into that person.
So my dream has become much simpler. To be a good man. A good husband. A good father and (hopefully) grandfather. A good friend. An ambassador of grace that lives to tell others that you don’t have to live in frustration in your walk with Jesus. There is a better way. It is found in the room of grace. Paul wrote these words to the Church at Philippi.
There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears. (Philippians 1, The Message)
Paul was a bit ahead of me on the maturing curve. I have had some doubts that were far north of slight. But now I am seeing it. God started a work in me nearly forty years ago. He has never given up on me. Never lost patience. Never condemned me. Never quit loving me. So I look back over my life and see that I did not accomplish the dreams I had for me. Thank God. I like the dreams He has for me a lot more.