My three-year old grandson, Boyce, has no problem dreaming big dreams. When you ask him what he wants to be when he grows up, Boyce shouts with every ounce of enthusiasm in his perpetually jumping body, "I want to build bridges ... fly an airplane ... and go to the North Pole and play with reindeer because they will like me."
Why is it that the young have no problem dreaming dreams that are charged with adrenalin and that are laced with human impossibility?
It seems that as the years go by, men and women often lose the capacity to dream. Life has a way of stealing from our very souls the rich delight of being able to dream a new dream ... to plan with childlike enthusiasm ... to hope with unlimited expectation ... and to look ahead with soaring vision.
"The thief does not come, except to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly" (John 10:10).
A three-year old lives a life awash in hope and expectation while a 60-year old slugs through the swamp of regret and pessimism.
A six-year old can't wait for Christmas ... for school to end ... to learn how to ride a bike ... and to have a Popsicle for dessert. A 50-year old often dreads the next birthday ... forgets the joy of youthful enthusiasm ... and ponders the mistakes of the past.
Why is it that the disappointments of life steal the raw pleasure of outrageous and hopeful expectation from the human soul?
"... one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal to the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 3:13-14).
It's time to dream again! It's time to look forward to all that God desires to do in you and through you whether you have one day of life remaining or 40 years of life still to be relished!
It's time to dream again!
Dreams were never intended to be the playground of only the young but the dreaming of dreams and the capacity to embrace vision has been given to all of humanity, whether young or old, as a life-long gift from the Father of all eternity.
It's time for YOU to dream again!
Perhaps tragedy or disappointment has caused your soul to petrify with no desire to look ahead or to dream about tomorrow. Perhaps the reality of living in the "same old ... same old" for too many years has pick-pocketed your youthful hopes and childhood enthusiasm.
If you do nothing else today, take the advice of Paul and simply "forget those things which are behind."
Forget the failures and the disappointments. Forget the years of famine and of dryness. Forget the criticism and the pain.
You see, forgetting about the past always precedes reaching forward to what lies ahead. If you are stuck in regret and in backward thinking, you will never dream another dream or set another goal.
"Do not remember the former things nor consider the things of old. See, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not be aware of it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert" (Isaiah 43:18-19).
The plans and purposes of God in a singular person's life do not come with an expiration date attached. If you have lost all hope of making any kind of difference for Christ and His Kingdom, perhaps it is time for you to hope again.
The ability to hope always begins with the commitment to ponder the past no longer. The day has come to resolutely determine that the past holds no enticement for our thought life or for our emotions.
God, the greatest Father in all of eternity past or all of eternity yet to come, never intended for the dreaming of dreams to be the nutrition of childhood. This is a season when the elderly are called to dream with enthusiasm and with wisdom.
Today is the time for the body of Christ to rise up with purpose and with strength in dreaming dreams together with the Holy Spirit. Allow His fresh breath and His new vision to permeate every area of your life!
" 'In the last days it shall be,' says God,
'that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh;
your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams" (Acts 2:17).
Carol McLeod is an author and popular speaker at women's conferences and retreats, where she teaches the Word of God with great joy and enthusiasm. Carol encourages and empowers women with passionate and practical biblical messages mixed with her own special brand of hope and humor. She has written five books, including No More Ordinary, Holy Estrogen!, The Rooms of a Woman's Heart and Defiant Joy! Her most recent book, Refined: Finding Joy in the Midst of the Fire, was released last August. Her teaching DVD The Rooms of a Woman's Heart won the Telly Award, a prestigious industry award for excellence in religious programming. You can also listen to Carol's "A Jolt of Joy" program daily on the Charisma Podcast Network. Connect with Carol or inquire about her speaking to your group at justjoyministries.com.
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