By Erika Rizkallah
Follow your dreams.
In our individualistic culture we’re bombarded with the idea. All forms of media fill our heads with bucket lists and the notoriety of easy celebrity.
I admit I’ve been fascinated with following my dreams since I was a kid. I was convinced I could be so many things: a model, a marine biologist an Egyptologist . . .
It didn’t matter I was too short and plain for modeling, or that I was afraid of fish and hated sand. Those careers appealed to me. Then the reality that I lacked certain skills became obvious and I settled for the unglamorous job of working in human resources.
Until recently I pursued some other dreams but chronic illness, aging and parenting issues edged them out, making them seem frivolous. I struggle with that – after all, aren’t we supposed to follow our dreams?
I wonder if it’s a modern construct. If it’s part of Paul’s warning about the last days, People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God . . . 3 Timothy 1-5
So I looked to the Bible for wisdom. I found nothing about following dreams. I looked to Jesus’ life and wondered about his dreams. Was he content with his carpentry career? Did he talk to his buddies about it?
Then it hit me. We were his dream of the future.
He focused ceaselessly on God’s purpose, not veering from his mission. Mark 1:21-39 offers a clue. He taught with authority in the Capernaum synagogue and dramatically drove a demon out of a man. Later he went to Peter’s house and found his mother-in-law suffering with a high fever. Jesus healed her and that evening the people brought him all the sick and demon-possessed. The Bible says, the whole town gathered at the door and Jesus healed many and drove out many demons.
Early the next morning he left the house and went to pray in a solitary place. Peter and his friends found him saying, “Everyone is looking for you!” Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else – to the nearby villages – so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.” So he traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.
He was so focused on his mission that he left the comfort of Peter’s home and the certainty of local celebrity to spread God’s good news to others in the region.
We benefit as a result of his obedience and in turn, his dreams for us (and himself) came true. It seems to me that when we follow God’s purpose for our lives, somehow they intersect.
What about you? Do you find God’s purpose and your dreams are in sync? Please share and tell us how!