Stop Dreaming

I’m going to tell you something that goes against what your parents told you: Stop Dreaming. It’s not that I think having dreams and aspirations is a bad idea. Actually, I believe quite the opposite. What I do think is too many people my age have huge dreams and rarely work hard to achieve them. We have a vision for where we want to go, but don’t want to do what it takes to make that vision a reality. I believe this is lack of follow through is almost always born out of entitlement. It has been said that my generation (“Millenials” who were born between 1980-2000) is one of the most entitled generations ever. This is because we’ve grown up with our parents, teachers, coaches, youth ministers, pastors, and Oprah telling us we can do anything. I do believe our generation has unlimited potential, but only if we don’t continue to leave off the second half of that saying: “You can do anything…you set your mind to.”

This is the subject of one of my all-time favorite songs. It is a song by Arcade Fire called “Rebellion (Lies).” It was released about 7 years ago, but it’s one I often go back and listen to for inspiration and clarity. The lyrics say:

Sleeping is giving in,
no matter what the time is.
Sleeping is giving in,
so lift those heavy eyelids.

People try and hide the night
underneath the covers.
People try and hide the light
underneath the covers.

People say that you’ll die
faster than without water,
but we know it’s just a lie,

scare your son, scare your daughter.

Every time you close your eyes
Lies, lies!
Every time you close your eyes
Lies, lies!

What they are saying is we have been told we cannot make it without our dreams (“People say that you’ll die faster than without water”), but the truth is our dreams, often times, keep us in bed and never push us into action. We become Peter Pans dreaming of Neverland and miss the opportunity to live out the dream of loving God and loving others who are right in front of us.

Based on what I have seen, there are two things many people in my generation back when it comes to making our dreams become a reality:

  1. We suffer from the curse of idealism. We expect and demand the environments we work in to be perfect if we are going to work to achieve our dreams. If something is not exactly how we want it to be, then we begin making excuses of why we can’t do the job required of us. But, it’s as Oswald Chambers says, “Our own idealistic principles may actually lull us into ruin.” This is why I often say Harris Creek is the perfect church. I truly believe this. Do I think Harris Creek has its fair share of flaws? Absolutely. But I am not foolish enough to think the grass is greener anywhere else, and I truly love that I get to work with the people God has placed in my life.
  2. We are lazy and prideful. Technology has told us things like “there’s a simpler way.” Our education has told us things like “I’m above doing that menial task.” So, we begin to think we are too good to do things like empty the trash or clean up after others. This hubris and pride must die if you are going to make a difference in people’s lives. I don’t care what position you are in, people want someone they can relate to and respect. It is hard to respect someone that is above working with others or cleaning up messes (not to mention someone who is willing to get messy themselves). No matter where you work or what you want to accomplish, I can promise you it will take “scrubbing some toilets” to get where you want to go.

So, my advice is this: “Stop Dreaming.” I’m not saying you should give up on your dreams. I am saying if you want to make your dreams a reality, then grab a shovel and start working. Get out from underneath the covers and join the rebellion.

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