This week I was talking to someone who was telling me about his dreams and aspirations. The thing that got me was when he said, "Whatever, it's just a childish dream." With that one comment, he went from a dreamer with all the hope in the world to completely defeated. I think we could all benefit from being able to dream and set big goals like a child. When I was a child, I wanted to be all kinds of things: a doctor, a movie maker, and President of the United States, just to name a few. When I was a child, there was nothing in the world that made me think those goals were not possible. As I got older, and the world beat me up quite a bit, I settled into the attitude of thinking this is all my life would be. I would always have a job I hate; I would always be unhappy. I'll never be anything great because you have to be one of the "lucky" ones to do anything spectacular. I felt defeated, and my life reflected this attitude.
Let me tell you, you end up in a very dark place when you have no hopes or dreams left. I didn't care much about my life at all. Eventually, I reached a point where I wasn't really living anymore; I just sort of existed and occupied space. Life becomes meaningless without hope, and no one should ever have to feel this way. Dare yourself to dream big. No matter what stage of life you are at, make every effort to live out your dreams. Maybe you don't have the same dreams you did as a child, but you must want to accomplish something, right? It's okay to dream; it's not childish. The business you always wanted to try, the story you want to tell, or something simple like owning the car you always wanted, whatever it is that gives you hope and purpose, it's not stupid. You have to have something to live for.
For me, I wanted to do ministry, so that's what I do. It took me years to reach this point, but it has been an amazing--and often difficult--experience getting here. I also wrote a book, something I never even dared to dream was possible. I still have a lot of big dreams left. I may never achieve all of them, but I refuse to ever let myself fall back into that defeated attitude that held me down for far too long. I keep pressing forward, always thankful for the opportunities I have been given, and excited for the future to come. The beauty of accomplishing one or two is it gives you an opportunity to think of some more. Above all else, allow yourself to have hope. You matter. Your life has meaning, even in the times that it seems like you just don't know what it is.
Dream like children do, with the entire world in front of them, and nothing in their way. Dream like you did before people told you couldn't. If someone as useless and hopeless as me can do something with his life, you can too. Never give up hope for anything, my friends. There is always reason to have hope.