My overly-active imagination can spin a dream faster than I can blink. And it’s beautiful – oh, yes, it’s dazzling in all its rosy hues and silver edges. And before I know it, I’ve settled my heart on it, and my mind has spent ten minutes carrying it out and analyzing all of its facets.
I’ve done this with ease since childhood for I remember vividly imagining “perfect” futures at age ten that included “perfect” houses with “perfect” families and “perfect” adventures. Such an imagination was definitely useful for writing stories – but not so useful when approaching reality in those said futures.
While I’ve grown quite a bit more realistic as an adult, that doesn’t stop my bright imagination from spinning future possibilities and weaving them together into dreams that would indeed make a lovely fairy-tale like story.
But suddenly, I feel the nagging whisper:
“Do you want that dream more than you want God?”
Shocked, I reply, “No, of course not! Besides this is a good dream. It’s a beautiful dream.”
Still the question, persistent, comes. “But do you want it more than you want God?”
I struggle to answer no, but I know the next argument – “If not, then why is it so hard to tear your mind off of that dream and surrender it to God?”
“If not, why is it harder for you to meditate on God and who He is than the contours and turrets of your fancy?”
Fancies and dreams are not realities – God is. But sometimes I think those dreams of my heart seem so much better and desirable than my current reality that it’s easy to set my heart on them, instead of on the truth of who God is and what He’s made me to do.
The truth is that God is to be worshiped, not my dreams.
The truth is that while dreams can be wonderful things, they are always to be subject to the Lord of my heart.
The truth is that I have a job to do right now that involves real and tangible goals, unlike some dreams that I can’t do much about.
The truth is that God wants me to grow in intimacy with Him by surrendering my thought life to Him.
The truth is that my heart and my mind need to learn discipline, because honestly?
My heart is like a butterfly – ready to alight on whatever pretty dream presents itself to me next … when I need to steady it in the solid ground of God’s Word.
My fairy-tale dreams seem to present me with comfort – at least a sweet little mind escape from the busyness and stress of everyday life. However, once again, they will end up disappointing me because they aren’t real. Truth is found in who God is – and He should be my comfort when life gets tough – not the promise of dreams no stronger than spun sugar.
When I’m tempted to spend too much mental energy on my mind castles, I simply need to replace them with God’s Word. Repeating Scripture to myself centers me back in truth, for God’s Word is more powerful than any internal resolve I could make to try and change.
Yes, the dreams will still come for I am a dreamy type of person who loves to imagine ideals in the future. But I must learn not to get lost in those ideals and neglect the reality of what is right in front of me – people that God has given me to love, tasks that He has given me to do, and goals He’s given me to accomplish.
These are useful, purposeful, and meaningful things that I can do with my time and my mental energy instead of spending such energy on the empty hopes of fairy tale dreams that may or may not come true. Because whether they come true or not, to borrow a line from my all-time favorite Disney movie – the great thing is that you get to go find a new dream.
And the dreams with goals attached to them – work pants, as I’ve heard them called – are the best kind of dreams to have, for they are more likely to come true in the end.
Regardless, all the dreams – fairy-tale or work-pants kind of dreams – must be surrendered to the God who created dreams in the first place. He wants us to find our greatest dream-come-true in Him, for He sacrificed everything to bring us into right relationship with Him. In Him, we are forever secure, and we never have to fear. He has our happily-ever-after already written and waiting in eternity for us
That’s where I need to set my hope – not on earthly promises, but on heavenly rewards. May God be gracious to me and refine the dreams of my heart until they bring Him the most glory.