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What Is It To Dream?

“The future belongs to those who believe in their dreams.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

The future. Throughout my life, I’ve been captivated by this mysterious time and place, as if it’s a blank canvas or an unwritten story.

Science fiction fascinates me, particularly dystopian fiction such as “1984” by George Orwell and “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley. It’s not that I want the future to be dark and cold as these stories portray; rather, it’s the resulting consequence of humanity’s choices, whether for good or for bad.

It’s not our intentions, but rather it is our choices that create the future.

Dreaming comes easily to me and I don’t exactly know why. Maybe because I never flipped the switch from dreaming to self-preservation. I’ve been viewed as irrational and I’m alright with that. Pursuing a dream appears absolutely crazy, but I’d rather live a life of exploration than to merely exist. Far too often, we have accepted the lie that humanity is a chess match – a human “survival of the fittest” – leading us towards security instead of creativity.

Yet, no matter how much we resist, no matter how much we ignore, and no matter how often we turn away, we cannot deny that our hearts still dream. The human heart is designed for dreams, for creativity, for wonder, and for the pursuit of all that is true. We were never designed for mere animalistic survival.

Do you have dreams screaming within your soul, desperate to be heard?

Within the context of Christianity, it has often been viewed with extreme caution when pursuing our dreams, because what if our dreams are “not of God?” This is a fair question, but one that has often been abused as an excuse for inaction. Within Buddhism, we are told we must lose all passion, turning from the soul’s desire for more and towards the empty vastness of the universe. And yet, as a follower of Jesus, these teachings are far from the teachings of the Scriptures. Passion is an expression of the human spirit, not some evil attribute to cast to the side.

Passion is given to us by God to long for Him, to search for Him, and to desire more than a life devoid of Him. And yet, passion applied incorrectly can be extremely toxic.

Passion that drives us to honor self destroys, leaving the world in a state of war, greed, and poverty – externally and internally. Passion that drives us to honor God restores, bringing life, wonder, and beauty to a broken world – externally and internally.

The question isn’t whether or not we dream, for dreams are inescapable within the human spirit. The question we must ask is this: what will we dream and why?

Throughout my life, I have had many dreams, not merely to become a film actor, but also to fall in love, to bring hope to the broken (a club to which I belong), to create music, to share the hope I have in Jesus, and to watch the Carolina Panthers win a Super Bowl…I have two weeks to find out if that’s a reality or mere fiction.

We do not belong to our dreams; our dreams belong to us.

Maybe you’re like me – a dreamer who failed royally at what once looked like a certain destiny. Perhaps you have never stepped foot on the path of adventure, afraid that failure would be your downfall. The beauty of being human is that we can always dream again. No dream has the right to label us.

Whatever your story may be, we are all called to live for more than the preservation of ourselves. That is the essence of pure “dreaming”, when we begin looking outward to what can be, rather inward to what is already realized.

What do you dream and why? What screams within your soul to be created? Will it create a better future, or will it create the dystopian future of self-preservation?

I have unfortunate news for you: we will all die one day, leaving behind all that we hold dear in this life. No matter how much you aspire towards security, it will be taken from you without your approval. Is that really the life you want to live?

Who we become, the future we will experience, and the world that we live in will be the result of our dreams, not of our security.

What future will you create?