I think people have a psychological need for dreams.
A girl who works at the coffee shop I go to who wants to be an actress. As I see it, she has three major obstacles:
1. She lives in Gainesville, Ga. Not exactly known to be a hangout for the industry’s elite.
2. She wants to be an actress. I mean is there a more California-State-Lottery-like profession? You’d more likely be hit by lighting, attacked by sharks, and be in a plane crash all at the same time than break into Hollywood.
3. She’s not doing anything about it.
The worst thing is, she thinks she’s doing something about it. She’s dreaming about it. However, dreaming, oddly enough, will not get you your dream.
Have you ever had a dream like my barista friend?
I had a dream once to be a rockstar. I wrote a bunch of songs and, after writing them, I thought, wow, I could play these for hundreds of people on stage and they would scream and clap and I would be mildly famous.
I talked to a mildly famous rockstar later and asked him how I could become mildly famous too. Play everywhere, he said. Play at the farmer’s market. Play at the fair. Play on your cul-de-sac.
I tried to follow his advice. I played at a coffee shop open-mic. My parents came. They cheered. I also played on the street downtown at 11:30 PM on a Saturday night, thinking the drunk people would be good tippers (they aren’t, just so you know).
The problem was, I didn’t like performing that much, and I didn’t want to practice everyday. I wasn’t doing much about my dream except dreaming.
Dreams are like food. You always need more. If I had somehow miraculously accomplished my dream and became mildly famous, I think I would have needed a new dream. I would have wanted to become more-than-mildly famous. If my friend who wants to be an actress somehow starred in the next episode of Glee, she would then want to star in the next high school musical. Dreaming never ends.
Everyone has dreams, even unhappy people. I think they just become smaller and more realistic as you get older. Until your dream is, eat a sandwich, watch The King of Queens, Drink a Mai Tai, sleep. Those dreams are not very big.
One of the best things about God is that he lets us borrow his dreams. His dreams sometimes have very little to do with us. Give all the children in the world a home. Create a network of people who care about your day (not just say they do). Fill everyone with hope. These are some of God’s dreams.
We need dreams. We live on them. But whose dreams are we going to dream? Our little dreams? Or something a little bigger? Something God-sized.
Joe Bunting dreams of writing novels and teaching other people how to read and write them, too. Check out his blog TheWritePractice.com.