Something I have noticed about Christians (at least the ones I have contact with) is that there is a heavy emphasis on dreams, grandiose futures and success. I’m not against people doing great things with their lives. Nor am I against success. I’m just uncertain that the emphasis is a healthy one. It seems there is a sense that people have to do great things for God. Or that living a simple happy quiet life is to waste it. Or that the salvation of the world depends on believers achieving these great and wonderful dreams.
I’m a dreamer. I have dreams, ones that have been with me for years, but I am rethinking what they are for. What they mean, how important they are and if they were motivated by a wrong understanding of God. You see I’d noticed that in my hope for my dreams to come about, I was missing the life I already have. I was wasting my life actually…the life I already have because I was hankering after things that haven’t happened yet. In fact, they might not ever happen. They are still only dreams after all…theoretical, ideas, hopes. Nothing concrete. But what IS real is an abundant life right here, right now.
Don’t get me wrong. There’s still stuff I hope for. There are still things I want to do before I die. And I believe they are God-inspired. But I’m tired of pushing hard, constantly trying to ‘position’ myself for them to happen. Tired of ‘contending’ for them. Tired of panicking that I’m not doing enough to make them happen. And tired of missing the joy of the life I have right now.
I think some of this emphasis on pursuing greatness comes from a faulty understanding of the Gospel. Some people seem to have an overinflated opinion of their own importance. They seem to think God needs them. I’ve been in a place where I’ve felt the burden of responsibility for the salvation of the world. That if I don’t share the gospel with someone and they die, then it’s all my fault. How small do we think God’s love is? That he would trust the eternal condition of one of his children to me? He loves them more than that! We are invited to participate with Christ, this is true. But He’s not in a blind panic about getting the job done or revealing Himself or His love to people. I want to say Relax people! Participate with Christ, enjoy the richness of life that He has given us! To be quite honest, this reveals the love and light of Christ much more than the red-faced, bulging neck veins, head down, bum up approach. The gospel is good news!
I am hearing people preach the grace of God. They preach that “It is Finished!” but keep working so hard at making things happen. The hype surrounding their passions make it seem a little like they are tying to convince others or themselves that it is true. They talk about the rest of God, but at the same time there is a sense of constant hard work about them. They have no sense of enjoying life, or relishing the abundance they have been blessed with in this life. I can see a perpetual straining, contending and pushing foward. There is a constant seeking for elusive, poorly defined religious carrots. Out of their mouths comes grace, but their lives exemplify fanatical religious effort. They don’t have LIFE!