Sunday, June 15, 2008


I met a young man from the Netherlands a few weeks back at a YWAM conference in Vancouver. He was spending a few months with YWAM Calgary, and then joining with an outreach to India. I've been reading his blog with interest (and the help of a translation program!). He is encountering some of the darkest and poorest places on earth, and writes about Calcutta: "Another thing that has touched me very much is that most children do not dream."
Perceptive, moving, and a challenge to me.
First of all, for the sadness that statement depicts for the kids of that vast country. No dreams? No hope, no future, no joy. They all go together, or it all disintegrates. How sad for that nation, for its leaders, for its parents. Nothing for their children to live for, nothing to look forward to. It's bad enough that they struggle with extreme poverty, sickness, non-existent living conditions. But to not have even a glimmer of hope for things to get better--that has to be the ultimate kick in the teeth.
Now to bring a similar thought closer to home. Of course, our nation is pretty well off as far as food, clothing, and shelter goes. Not too many kids go to bed hungry at night. Most are at least warm and dressed, even if not in the latest styles.
But do kids have dreams? Do teenagers look forward to a bright future? A challenging but attainable career? A happy home, spouse and 2.4 kids? A world at peace, an environment that glows with health, a place to grow old?
I'm afraid many kids here in Canada don't dream either. The threat of global warming, wars and rumors of wars, skyrocketing prices, and uncertainties everywhere make kids much more cynical than I was at their age. Do they dream? Or is it closer to a nightmare?
A new young friend lent me a documentary on metal music. I'm not sure I really understand what sends people into the various communities they find themselves in (metal, punk, goth, emo, gangster, etc.), but I'm sure part of it is that they don't want to follow the route their parents have gone. Their parents probably are trying to live the dream of job, success, money, happiness, and all the rest, but the kids aren't buying it. Not for a minute. And if we had our eyes open to the futility of our generation, we wouldn't blame them. Can't afford the house, gas for the car, or food on the table. Who knows if that college education will get me a job better than flipping burgers.
OK, so it seems pretty dismal. Sorry about that, but that's kind of the way it really is.
Except for dreams.
Praise God for the ability to dream. Especially His dreams.
Hope for the future? You bet!
Life worth living? You better believe it!
Because God is actually still in control.
He still has a handle on His creation. With His help, we will keep from destroying this old mud ball.
With His help, we won't kill each other off.
With His wisdom we'll figure out better ways to power the machines we inevitably think we need.
Housing may continue through the roof, but He looks after the sparrows, and He'll look after us.
I think the most encouraging part about God dreams is that they go far beyond whatever you can see, or even imagine. And because the dreams originate with Him, there is every reason to believe that they will come to pass.
It's certainly a different mindset than we are used to. You have to look past the darkness, the destruction, the depressing news stories. It's not the ostrich with his head in the sand, ignoring the truth. No, it's seeing the rainbow instead of the rain, even while it is still raining. It's remembering that you miraculously found a place to live within your means when you had almost given up; so God is totally able to come through again. It's knowing that God has called you to pursue a job in a certain field, and He will enable you to succeed in it.
Dream big
Dream God dreams.

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