I was on my hands and knees, mopping up a spontaneus projectile offering from Zoe this evening. Suddenly the thought came to me
I would have laughed out loud, but Zoe was trying to sleep, and seeing as sleep is a precious thing, I was not prepared to risk it.
Its true though isn’t it? When you get the prophetic words, when you have a vision for the future, when you dream dreams, make plans it doesn’t include this. It doesn’t include loneliness and boredom, changing diapers/nappies, sick kids,putting in the hours to get somewhere professionally, wondering how to pay the bills, sleepless nights and weight gain!
Well of course it doesn’t. But even though we know that, it hasn’t stopped us feeling a little bit confused at times.
Its weird isn’t it, when everyday life can make you feel a little disappointed, guilty, or even like you’ve failed or aren’t spiritual, radical, whatever, enough. It all feels so… ordinary.
So what went wrong – is it wrong to dream? to hope for something more? Maybe our expectations are too high?
I keep coming back to my school days – when I was told I could be anything I wanted to be. To the conferences I went to as a young ‘un or a young adult which promised that “this will be the generation who were going to turn the world upside down for Jesus…”
Were they wrong to say that? Should they have said something along the lines of
“99.9 % of you will live average ordinary lives. You will settle, have families. If you’re lucky one of your kids will sleep through the night before they are 10. You will spend the toddler years knee deep in poop, vomit and laundry. You will have a pretty average body, unless you succumb to cosmetic enhancement. You will not be famous, your ideas no matter how interesting will not be known. You’ll fit your talents in where you can. You’ll work hard, and have a decent life. And you’ll be happy if you will allow yourself to be.”
Is too much energy is wasted on wanting to be the the 0.01%?
Yet there has got to be a place for a vision for a new day. You need that prophetic voice which looks at slavery and sees injustice, that looks at segregation and says I have a dream. The Israelites needed the prophets throughout their history pointing to a better day. I’ve needed prophetic voices, visionary dreams, dare I say it – raw ambition, to stretch me, encourage me and push me towards life beyond settling for the status quo.
I think what I am learning is that perhaps I need to stay aware of what I bring to the table when I hear those prophetic voices, when I dream. Like the personal brokenness I bring to the table that cries out for recognition and seeks to heal itself from time to time. When I was at school being told I could be anything. I imagined fame and recognition because I was 14 and Bros were singing about being famous. Now I know it was my way of feeling like somebody special, the antidote to feeling like nobody special.
I also need to stay aware of how influenced I am by my culture, which has made a TV genre out of making ordinary people wealthy superstars overnight, often for doing very little. Reality TV is great when you remember that its just entertainment.
There’s got to be a place for the impossible dream. Maybe the challenge is embracing reality alongside it. There’s a lot to be said for wanting what we already have….