My dear readers, today I am featuring a guest post by a dear friend, Sophie Neeze. I trust that it will bless you as it did me. Enjoy!
eVEN tHE dREAM cANNOT bE tRUSTED
So, it’s the first week of November, and I’m temping at an office in the city. It’s a week-long gig, and I’m grateful to have it for many reasons. This time last year, I was in this same office, temping for the first time, and I was a completely different person.
I was an emotional wreck, having just come out of a relationship; and as regards my faith, which is the centre of my existence, I was a sad mess! I had always been the progressive sort; the type of person who believed that in few or many steps, there was always an organized procedure one could adopt to ensure that desired ends were achieved. In fact, a lot of my day dreams were about desired ends and the mental trip backward to visualise what steps needed to be taken. You see, somewhere in my head, I had gotten mixed up and had started thinking that God would have me live like that. I read Genesis 2:5 to mean that God would not move if I was not moving myself. The sad result of thinking like this, is that when things do not work according to plan, one very easily slips into OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder): you start to believe even more in the efficiency of detailed planning, and you begin to obsess over the plans so much that you get fixated on the process at the expense of the product. This further results in the deterioration and depletion of your health and strength. And that is exactly where I was. Worse still, I carried this warped mind set into the various aspects of my life; conversations, cooking, cleaning, studying, exercising, name it!
The thing about living like this is that eventually, something really major may go wrong which none of your methodical approaches to life will be able to fix, and then fear will set in; possibly even paranoia.
On the way back home yesterday, I started to wonder how I became like that. And then I saw on a friend’s blackberry status, “if you can see it, you can achieve it”. Two years ago, this short quip would have made my stomach leap with possibility, but to be very honest, seeing it yesterday made my insides feel queasy. Then I thought about how many sermons I’d heard regarding this, and how many “sermons” even I’ve preached on the same topic and it really got me thinking. Are preachers then wrong when they encourage us to dream? Many of them build their ministries around the importance of dreaming and the power of God to move us from point A to point B, and we go home after each service feeling “wow, I can conquer the world!”
This is in fact a good thing; but when the road to conquering the world continues to appear endless, windy, and full of obstacles, one can easily lose steam and become frustrated. Focusing on the big picture alone can cause one to get worn out in the process. For example, it is possible to focus so hard on your weight loss dream that the learning of new eating habits is lost on you; were you to succeed at reaching that dream, it will be short-lived, and the weight will come back. Or, you may be focusing on the dream of becoming wealthy, but if you suddenly land into a wealth mine without having learned financial principles, you may squander it quickly and be back in the rat race not too long after you got off the tracks.
As far as this business of seeing and achieving goes, there are a few things I had dreamed and worked towards which haven’t happened, but I have also noticed that there are many things in my life that God has done for me, which I had no foresight about. Talk about God giving you surprise presents! Or, better put, God ordering the steps of the righteous, and daily loading us with benefits!
No, I am not speaking out of both sides of my mouth, or vacillating between two positions: “Dream!” “Don’t dream!” What I am saying is this, while we must dream, the focus of our dreams should be Yeshua! It is good not to settle for the status quo, not to limit ourselves, to want more. Matter of fact, God’s Modus Operandi (MO) is to give you above and beyond your dreams and desires; so dreaming is great for you! But another of God’s MOs is to let you walk in the dark sometimes, so don’t fret when that happens. Isaiah 50: 10-11 puts it very succinctly, indeed prophetically-
10 Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the word of his servant?
Let the one who walks in the dark, who has no light,
trust in the name of the Lord and rely on their God.
11 But now, all you who light fires and provide yourselves with flaming torches,
go, walk in the light of your fires and of the torches you have set ablaze.
This is what you shall receive from my hand: You will lie down in torment.
What this means, for me, is that the Word will prove true, but the onus is not on you or on the dream to make it happen. Hence you cannot, must not, depend on the dream. We must depend on the Giver of the dream.
A famous Christian Saint is reported to have said “Love God and do what you like”; I say, regardless of the twists and turns you experience in life, “Remember that God loves you, and relax; then do what you like!”
That’s where I’m at right now.
Image credits: Google Images.