Our dreams are gifts. Gifts from God. Not wages paid for hard work, though often enough hard work goes into them. But true dreams, those things we so desire that they consume us, they are gifts from the hand of God. If they are not, if it is simply something we fulfill ourselves, damn the consequences, they become less than dreams.
All my life I have wanted a canoe. I have spent hundreds and hundreds of hours in canoes, everywhere from small ponds to huge lakes, from lazy, swampy streams to raging rapids. I have camped from them, fished, hunted, trapped, you name it from a canoe. But, I have never owned one. I have made plans for how I would modify my canoe. How I would paint it and how I would stow cargo and how I would make my own, custom paddle.
I am finally at a point in life I could, with only a little effort, save enough to buy any canoe I wanted. Why haven’t I? The time has never been right. There is always a higher purpose for my money or the demands of life won’t leave me enough time to use it to justify it or a million other excuses. Now, our family is such a size, I would have to buy two if I bought one!
We plan to save the money from this deployment to buy land. Not just any land, our dream land. I have had this dream, for a homeplace, since I was a very little boy. Even at 8 or 9, wandering around the old homeplace hunting squirrels with my Granddaddy, knowing that we had to ask permission from the current owners because the family had sold the place while he was gone to WWII, I sensed a great desire to have a place where my kids, grandkids and many times great-grandkids can know is HOME. I can sense how such a place can become not just an anchor for my family but a center-point for a community, providing a place where others can come to learn, to heal and to develop the ability to feed their own families. A place where dreams can come true, and where new dreams can be formed.
I don’t know if it will happen. Not because of money, but because I feel so unworthy to realize the dream I have. To build a community, to build a source of income for others, to build a place where my family can, finally, have a HOME. I am putting in a lot of hard work to learn what I need to be able to make that dream a reality and to earn the capitol necessary to bring it to fruition, but the real fulfillment of that dream can only come from God. I cannot create community or opportunity, not at the spiritual level. I am completely dependent on Him to bring that gift to me. And I must be willing to accept it. I must step beyond my own self doubt and embrace both the joy and responsibility to be caretaker of that gift. For, unlike a wage, I have not earned it and must be a responsible steward to the true owner of the dream.
I know so many people with unfulfilled dreams. I don’t know why God’s timing is as it is. But I know that we must work hard to be worthy of the dream, and humble enough to know we did not earn the gift once it is given. I rest in the knowledge that He wants to give us good gifts…despite our own mulishness.