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Points to Ponder: Living the dream?

Points to Ponder
Living the dream?

How does your work life measure up to your dreams? Are you in your "dream job," doing what you've always wanted; or did your life take a turn and you wound up on a totally different path? Sometimes one small decision that seemed insignificant at the time is the turning point that altered your course. Perhaps you can see a lot of good things did come because of that change. On the other hand, you may be living with consequences that will never go away.
It all depends, doesn't it? It depends on choices. Dr. Joseph Stowell, quoting a friend's wisdom, said, "Life is not made by the dreams that you dream but by the choices that you make."
What are dreams anyway? Sometimes they are products of wishful thinking, as in "I'm dreaming of a white Christmas." I doubt that such dreaming kept Bing Crosby up at night.
But then there are the dreams that may have begun in childhood. A girl dreams of being a nurse; a boy dreams of being a pilot. She puts bandages on her dolls and had the pet dog in a sling. He builds a model Piper Cub and builds an airstrip on the back patio. They play the dream, pretend that it's already reality, they learn the lingo, and they envision themselves doing what they dream about. And some actually go on and fulfill their dream.
I ride in the M.S. (Multiple Sclerosis) Bike Tour every summer. About twenty years ago I rode alongside the top fund raiser that year, 14-year old Steve Ruck. "So what do you want to do when you grow up?" I asked. He said, "Own my own bike shop." And today, he does. At "Bike Doctor," Steve's living the dream.
I've been a pastor for almost sixteen years. That was not my dream; I didn't even want to go to church. I was a health club trainer and manager in Baltimore. I had dreams of owning a home in Washington County. But there were no health and fitness businesses there in those early days. So I rode my bike out here, spent a week just enjoying the beauty and dreaming of how it would be great to live there.
Through a series of choices, I worked to make a living and find my way in Baltimore. I eventually pursued a calling to ministry. It did not match my dreams for myself. I resisted it. But wise counselors and prayerful seeking and listening for God's guidance compelled me to tear up my career goals and aspirations and just follow the Lord's leading.
I'd worked in many jobs I did not like or particularly wanted. It was something I could do, a paycheck I could earn. Sometimes I was in work I really did enjoy but underneath it all was a sense of futility; that I did not belong there. I could stay and do well, but it was not where I was called to be in the long run.
"Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart" (Psalm 37:4).
This verse is personal for me. Today we live in our own home in Washington County.
I have written on this point before, but I am compelled to revisit it. In this economy, people are stuck doing jobs that are far from what they longed for, trained for, or dreamt of doing. Futility is the underlying sense that greets them in their work - or in their chronic unemployment.
But God didn't stop working when you did. And God didn't stop paying attention to your heart's desires because your path hit a dead end or abruptly turned on to an unplanned route.
Life is not made by the dreams you dream. In fact, too much focus on dreaming of a more fulfilling life could distract you from obtaining it. Why? Because it is in your choices that add up to making you the person you are becoming. And the person you are becoming is the one who is leading you on the current course.
How is that working for you? Maybe that's why you are where you are; there's something you need to learn. Have you made the right choice - today?
"What profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?" (Matthew 16:26).

Points to Ponder is a series of occasional articles written by Rev. Dennis Whitmore, Pastor of Hilltop Christian Fellowship, 12624 Trinity Church Drive, Clear Spring, MD (1/4 mile east of Clear Spring on Rt. 40). These articles (and sermons) are also found at Listen to Pastor Dennis on WJEJ-1240 AM, Tues and Thurs, at 10:45am and 7:50pm, both days.

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