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At one time or another, I think we all look introspectively at our lives to consider if there is something more, better, or worthwhile we should be doing with our lives.
There are many theories out there. Some seem so very motivating. Take these well-used statements for instance:
"You can do anything if you try"
"If you dream it, you can do it"
Marathon of Hope creator, Terry Fox, suffered cancer and with an amputated leg set out to run across Canada to raise awareness and funds for cancer cures. He is quoted:
“I just wish people would realise that anything is possible if you try. Dreams are made if people try.”These are all fine-sounding statements. But, I believe they need qualifiers. They just aren't completely true.
If I have a dream to be a star on a soap opera, I can pursue acting, move to LA, etc., but just because I've dreamt it, does not mean it will transpire. There are many variables involved, including needing a producer or director's offer to include me.
If I am paralyzed from the waist down, I can dream about walking again, I can participate in trials, but I can't necessarily make it happen.
If I'm a lousy singer, I won't win X-Factor just because I've dreamt about it and tried out.
Get the picture?
THINK OF OUR ANCESTOR EVE
I'm reminded of Eve in the Garden when Satan tempted her. Her giving in was both a result of falling for her own ideas combined with believing the ideas of Satan--that she could be God-like and knowledgeable.
The cost? To go against God. In essence, to follow her own dreams and false promises.
Did it work out? Did she become God-like? No. She sinned and the entire world was condemned as a result of her choice.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR US?
We are bombarded with ideas that appeal to our flesh. Some are from other humans, some are driven by Satan.
Then there are dreams and ideas driven by God's Holy Spirit at work in us. Dreaming is not wrong.
When we find ourselves feeling like there is something better, it's important to consider where the voice we're hearing is coming from.
The world is so competitive. We see others succeeding and we want what they have so badly we're tempted to not only listen to them, but to follow them. But is this wise?
I believe comparing ourselves to others is a recipe for depression. We will sometimes fight against who we are and God's best in an effort to become something not intended.
WHAT THEN IS THE ANSWER?
The answer is:
- Recognize the potential of being deceived.
- Check for what comparisons you're making.
- Check which of the world's voices you're listening to (TV, magazines, teachers, professors, friends?)
- Dismiss wrong guidance or desires.
- Seek the perfecting offered by God.
- Ask him to align your life.
- Make the changes he requires.
- Listen to his voice.
- Learn to live in trust of his direction.
- Learn contentment and accept where he moves you to (both in work and geography).
- Bloom where you're planted.
- Warn others.