For the last week and a half our television hasn't changed channels. Like so many of you, we have been mesmerized by the Olympic Games in Rio.
There have undoubtedly been many moments of heartbreak as well as moments of intense joy and victory. We have witnessed tears streaming down the faces both of the victors and of those who with every ounce of energy and God-given talent came up short in their particular event. And even those who finish without ever stepping foot onto the podium and hearing their own national anthem, you have to respect the fact that they dared to try. They dared to dream.
My wife, Camille, can attest to the fact that nothing makes me leak out of the eyes quite like the Olympics. When we’re watching she will look over at me on the couch sniffling and choking back tears. The thing that inspires me the most is the determination and courage, oftentimes from very young athletes, to believe that a particular dream could become a reality.
The question I have been wrestling with is this: Has the church become a community of “spectator dreamers?” Have we let dreams die in our own lives and local congregations? Have we instead tried to live vicariously through the dreams of other people? Do we watch sports so that we can be victorious with our favorite team? Do we read romantic novels so that our mediocre relationships seem less humdrum? Do we raise our children and coerce them to chase the dreams that we let die during our own adolescence?
Henry David Thoreau said that so many of us live lives of “quiet desperation." And similarly, Benjamin Franklin once wrote that, “Many people die at twenty-five and aren’t buried until they are seventy-five.”
The only antidote I know for a mediocre life is faith.
So be inspired by those who dream, but don't fail to dream yourself. Look at where God is moving and pray about how you might join in God's dreams. Write down the things you hope to see realized. Tell a trusted friend. And today, put one foot in front of the other in following those dreams.
"Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see." - Hebrews 11:1