Pursuits and Dreams

Being the weekend, I decided to read another chapter from In The Shadow of Grace.
Chapter 6, "Dreams Deferred", seems to have a negative and almost pessimistic tone.
However, that is not what I found wow reading and pondering the chapter this morning.

I am hopeful that most people have dreams about their lives.  I am hopeful most people strive to achieve goals that they have set for themselves.  I am really good about setting goals, it is the follow through that tends to get me.

I started taking Tae Kwan Do with my children a number of years ago.  We each have come through the ranks at our own pace, but generally pretty close together.  One of the positive things that have come from this experience is the goal setting we do as a school at the beginning of each year.

We generally have a personal goal, a school/work goal, and a martial arts goal.   Each year we write those goals down and they have to be measurable and with an end date.  For example, "I want to get better at X" is not a goal.   I will run a 5K by the end of the year... now that is measurable and with a deadline.

Dreams are equally as important.  I would like to think most goals point to a dream, if not perhaps they should.  Dreams tend to be bigger, dreams can also seem "unreachable" at times.  Sometimes... dreams have to be set aside.

As a child I had the dream of becoming an astronaut.  I wanted to go into space, mostly I wanted to experience weightlessness.  This dream never came about and I doubt it will unless something miraculous happens.

Campbell had more noble dreams.  Dreams of seeing the reach and ministry of the Church grow.  Dreams of seeing those who did not know Christ come to know Him.  Dreams of seeing the influence of the God through the Church reach around the globe. 

As Campbell stood before his congregation and spoke to them on October 2, 1914... His message was not on failing to achieve His dream... His message was on the following...

I have seen and end of all perfection; but thy commandment is exceeding broad.  -Psalm 119:96

Campbell was preaching his resignation.  He went through all that had been accomplished, yet all that was yet to be accomplished.  However, His message was not pessimistic at all, His message was optimistic, it was absolute...  God has achieved and would achieve exactly what God wants to achieve.

This was not about how much or little that the church or Campbell had been able to accomplish.  This was completely about what God had accomplished through them and would continue to achieve with them and others.

No doubt, God has achieved many great things through the reliable and willing hearts of believers throughout the world and through time.   No doubt God will continue to achieve great things through the generations to come.

I am in many ways thankful that my dreams did not come through... God knows much better what I need and how he wanted to use me than I did.    I am hopeful that as part of the body of Christ, I am able to be used for His purpose and will to achieve exactly what he wants me to achieve.


  1. Yes, dreams are important, just as setting measurable goals are. I've witness the fruition of many dreams/goals over the years, though some have eluded me. When that happens, I simply have to chalk it up to not being God's will for me at that time, and maybe not ever. Can be a hard pill to swallow, but I know in my heart His will is the only one that counts.
    Blessings, Ryan!

    1. Great perspective to have Martha, Not my will but His be done!

  2. I am so glad my dreams of being a professional baseball player or basketball player never panned out. I would have missed knowing what I know now as a pastor. The friends I have. The places I have been.


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