Dreams, Nightmares & Heaven

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
— (Colossians 3:1-4 KJV)

I have dreams, who doesn't.  I dream one day to work less, be healthy, spend time with my children and grandchildren unabated.  To eat fine food, relax and enjoy a sunset.  Go and see far off beautiful places.  To wake up and not worry about finances.  To pay a bill the day it arrives.  Not as lofty a dream as most people, but realistic.  In fact, much of it I already live.

There are a multitude of people "encouraging us" to "follow our dreams".  They often claim to have the vehicle by which to attain these dreams.  They enter your life and assume you need to chase your dreams at all cost.

An American businessman took a vacation to a small coastal Mexican village on doctor’s orders. Unable to sleep after an urgent phone call from the office the first morning, he walked out to the pier to clear his head. A small boat with just one fisherman had docked, and inside the boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish.

“How long did it take you to catch them?” the American asked.

“Only a little while,” the Mexican replied in surprisingly good English.

“Why don’t you stay out longer and catch more fish?” the American then asked.

“I have enough to support my family and give a few to friends,” the Mexican said as he unloaded them into a basket.

“But … What do you do with the rest of your time?”

The Mexican looked up and smiled. “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife, Julia, and stroll into the village each evening, where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life, señor.”

The American laughed and stood tall. “Sir, I’m a Harvard M.B.A. and can help you. You should spend more time fishing, and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. In no time, you could buy several boats with the increased haul. Eventually, you would have a fleet of fishing boats.”

He continued, “Instead of selling your catch to a middleman, you would sell directly to the consumers, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village, of course, and move to Mexico City, then to Los Angeles, and eventually New York City, where you could run your expanding enterprise with proper management.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, señor, how long will all this take?”

To which the American replied, “15–20 years. 25 tops.”

“But what then, señor?”

The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right, you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich. You would make millions.”

“Millions, señor? Then what?”

“Then you would retire and move to a small coastal fishing village, where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take a siesta with your wife, and stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos …”
— Open Source Fable

The moral of the story is this;

Live your dreams, not that of others.  You may find yourself living a nightmare, while in pursuit of a dream you are already living.  Don't let someone else dictate what your dreams are.

For the Christian, we have to be mindful of our true calling.  To Worship God, and spend eternity with him.  In Colossians, Paul warns us to keep things in perspective.  To be "heavenly minded" and not get weighed down with the cares of this world.  We are the purchased possession of Christ and as such, we are to focus on spiritual things, heavenly things.

 In Luke 2:49 Jesus modeled what our primary purpose is as a believer.

How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business? 

When we get caught up "living our dreams", we have less time to " be about my Father's business? "

We can literally spend our earthly life working at building an empire, when in reality our Father in heaven has a mansion waiting for us in heaven.  We ought to be storing up Heavenly treasures. 

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
— (Matthew 6:19-21 KJV)

Let us consider the parable of the "rich man" 

And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother. And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up. Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich. And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
— (Luke 18:18-25 KJV)

The "Name it and claim it" crowd will tell you every day that it is God's will that you prosper.  That is true, however, they are referring to financial prosperity.  How can one reconcile that ideology with Luke 18 and the parable of the rich man?  In verse 24 Jesus is sorrowful concerning this man.  He knows that his riches are impeding his following of Christ.  Sure Christ wants us to prosper, but his primary desire is that we pick up our cross and follow him.  Jesus is keenly aware of the temptation to acquire more wealth.  After all the Bible says;

For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
— (1 Timothy 6:10 KJV)

Notice it is the "love of money", not money itself, that is at the root of all kinds of evil.  Our insatiable desire to acquire more wealth is an impediment.  

Notice the contrast in this verse;

But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
— (1 Timothy 6:6-9 KJV)

True prosperity is not measured in dollars and cents.

And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.
— (Luke 12:15 KJV)

In conclusion, life is a balancing act.  God, spouse, children, work and country.  Put God first, and let him arrange the rest.  Remember, live your dreams, not that of others.

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