In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. (Acts 2:17)
I’ve had several hundred youth group kids over the years. Most of them had big dreams. Dreams are important, and I would hesitate to ever try to limit someone’s dream. However, having watched youth through the years turn into adults, I see an important pattern. Kids in my first youth group are now almost fifty years old, and some have made their dreams come true, while others remain disappointed.
Some youth had supportive parents and they didn’t fulfill their dreams, while others had a poor home life, and they surpassed their dreams. The one factor, or pattern, that kept coming to the forefront was those youth who fulfilled their dreams were the ones who had a clear process, and understood the many steps it would take to make their dreams a reality. The ones who never quite made it kept waiting for something to change their situation, rather than making incremental changes in their own life.
A simple example would be twins who both dream of being rich. The one twin decides to go to college, and major in business. She finds her area of interest and ability, and then finds a niche market where she can fulfill a need. She puts money away – sacrificing – in order to purchase a small storefront. She starts small, works long hours, and then celebrates when she hires her first employee. The business continues to develop, evolve, and expand. Her dream of wealth is transformed, as money is less the focus, and she finds that she is wealthy in the people who have fulfilled their own dreams through her business. She is wealthy in looking at all the people who found their own financial security through her business.
The other twin, dreamed of wealth, and waited for it to fall at her doorstep. She played the lottery, and tried to ingratiate herself with wealthy people, in the hope that wealth would rub off on her. This twin’s dream remained illusory. She spent her life with dreams, but no plan to make her dreams come true.
Spend some time today considering your childhood dreams, and the dreams you still possess. Which dreams came true? Which dreams melted away? What made some dreams find success, while others remained beyond reach? Was it fear? A lack of ability? God gives almost all of us a special gift or ability. But God doesn’t usually make it a reality without hard work and a plan. Until the day we die, we should continue to dream. What is your next dream? What is your process for making it a reality? And don’t forget, along with the planning, do not stop praying, because no dream has ever been achieved without the support of the Holy Spirit. Enjoy the dream, and make a plan, and say a prayer. There might still be a few surprises and blessings left in your life!