There’s a clear difference between dreams and reality. The dream is ecstasy—everything you are passionate about and hope to become. The reality is drudgery—everything you are apathetic about and had hoped to never become.
My Dream and My Reality
I have wanted to be a writer for a long time.
Sure, being a singer sounded amazing when I was younger. Until I realized that I have no vocal range whatsoever. Being a veterinarian sounded cool, too. Until I realized that my dog and cat allergies could significantly interfere with my work. Being a tutor sounded rewarding as well. Until I realized that I am not a kid person unless said kid is perfectly well-behaved.
Even though I have wanted to be a writer for so long, I still don’t feel like a real writer. I have yet to write an entire book for publication, find an agent to pitch my book idea to publishers, or get a book deal. And I have yet to see my name on the front cover of, well, anything.
Others have done what I want to do—become a traditionally published young author of a nonfiction Christian book. Honestly, I envy them. I want their success. But for now, I’m an almost-graduated-college-student-with-no-published-books. And those young authors are living my dream.
Your Dream and Your Reality
What’s your dream? How is it different from your reality? Do you envy the person who is living your dream?
Instead of becoming a wife and mother right after college like your roommate did, you earn your bachelor’s degree in elementary education, you earn your master’s degree in elementary education, and you start teaching a kindergarten class. To help other people’s kids.
Instead of building a home when you get married like your mom and dad did, you move into a tiny apartment with your new husband who’s still in school, you buy minimal décor from Walmart and Amazon, and you join an interior design company. To design other people’s homes.
Instead of moving to Nashville to become a famous musician like your best friend did, you join the worship team at your church, you post online videos of your original songs, and you apply for an internship at a record label. To listen to other people’s music.
Instead of opening your own small business like your brother did, you apply for job after job, you volunteer for lots of church ministries in the meantime, and you finally find work at a local consulting firm. To grow other people’s businesses.
Instead of finding your significant other soon after high school like all your friends did, you head off to college out of state, become a licensed counselor, and start your own marriage and family counseling practice. To hear about other people’s marriages.
Our Bones Are Rotting Away
There are a million examples I could use just like these, but you get the picture. Your dream is a reality for someone else, and that hurts. It produces bitterness and anxiety…just like Solomon said thousands of years ago.
A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot. (Proverbs 14:30 ESV)
Oh, to be at peace with wherever God has placed us right now. Oh, to feel full of life, rather than full of resentment. Oh, to know that this season is not accidental or meaningless.
What if I told you that you can be at peace with wherever God has placed you right now? What if I told you that you can feel full of life, rather than full of resentment? What if I told you that you can know that this season is not accidental or meaningless?
You can still have dreams. And you can still be disappointed when they come true for others but not for you. Just don’t neglect your reality as you dream.