March 4, 2011

Rock Star Status

If there is anything that reality T.V. has taught us (other than to follow our hearts), it's that there are secret shortcuts or a lightning fast track to fulfilling a dream. This is how a dream should go:

Unknown to national stardom in six months.
Single to dating 25 women to engaged in six weeks.
Unable to run to physically fit and finishing a marathon in a few short months.

Does it really come that easy?

Sometimes the slogging it through feels like my dreams aren't legitimate. Surely, if it is really my dream to dream, it will be easy. If it's what God wants for me, obstacles will melt away, discouragement will cower in my presence, every piece of the puzzle will fall neatly into place. Because it's slow going rather than the rags to riches story, it's not legitimate.

I love watching people on T.V. (and people in my life) achieve their dreams. It's inspiring and heart warming.

But I can relate more to the ones who leave the stage, rejected. They're all smiles as they leave, but I imagine they lay their head down on a pillow that night in tears, soul searching. Am I really good enough? Should I just give up? Am I fool to continue?

What is your dream? It's probably not rock star status (or perhaps it is). Maybe it's to raise godly young men or women. Maybe it's to start your own business. Maybe it's a good, sturdy marriage. Maybe it's to create art or to learn a new language. Maybe it's to plant a church.

Unless you're the next Bachelor or Bachelorette preparing for the most dramatic rose ceremony ever, I can say with certainty that you're going to face obstacles, discouragements, setbacks, failures, and rejection. What do those things speak to you? That you should give up? That your dreams aren't legitimate?

Let's consider it from a different angle.

Let's assume that we want to please God and worship Him through the things we dream about (that's a good place to start the dream-wrestling if I assumed wrong). If we have that posture of worship, we'll be doing what Romans 12:1 instructs us to do:

"I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship." 

We present ourselves and our dreams to God. We worship him with our gifts and dreams, even if no one sees or hears or cares. But in doing so, we are making a sacrifice to Him. Sacrifice is painful. It's not easy; it means we'd be willing to lay down the dream if He asks us to.

It would generally be much easier to give up, when pursuing what God has given us to do or gifted us to do gets difficult. It would relieve alot of our stress and insecurities. But that difficulty can be a good thing. That is what the sacrifice feels like. Anxiety and attempts at control aren't part of the sacrifice--that's sin--but enduring and persevering through the difficulties are an act of worship.

And the best part: He accepts our sacrifice, pleased. Now that's rock star status.

So what do you think? Does reality T.V. actually capture the reality of pursuing our dreams? How do you view obstacles in pursuing your dream?