Episode 1. Embracing Your Dreams
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Each of us has a big dream for our lives. Sometimes it’s forgotten. Sometimes we’re afraid of it. And sometimes we’re just too busy for it. But it’s woven into our DNA. Join Berni– as he …
Each of us has a big dream for our lives. Sometimes it’s forgotten. Sometimes we’re afraid of it. And sometimes we’re just too busy for it. But that God-given dream is woven into our DNA.
It’s great to have your company with us today. I want to begin by asking you three distinct questions. The first question is this: how many people do you know who are living out their dream? When they’ve discovered who they are and what they’re good at and what God made them for and they’re out there, living it and loving it.
Second question: how many people do you know who get up every morning, go to a job that they hate, come home, have dinner, watch the box, go to bed, just to do it all again tomorrow? And the third question is: which one are you? A dreamer living out your dream or someone in a life that you just don’t like. Now that’s a very good question.
It never ceases to amaze me how many people end up in the wrong job or the wrong career. But I guess, when you think about it, we tend to make those choices when we’re young. Often we make those choices when we’re teenagers or in our early twenties and it’s probably a time when we’re ill-equipped because we don’t have the maturity. We don’t have the level of understanding of ourselves to make those choices.
If I look back, in my case, I had a choice of three basic careers when I left school. One was to do medicine and become a doctor. The other was to do computer science at the Royal Military College. And the other one was a career as a Lawyer and to do law at a particular university. I chose the middle one. The second one would have been fine too but, with the benefit of hindsight, I now look at the medicine choice and I think what an absolute disaster that would have been. I hate the sight of blood, the notion of cutting people up or listening to their ills and woes in the doctor’s surgery. I mean, I can’t imagine doing that.
So we make those choices and sometimes they become like prison walls. We feel as though we‘re locked into them. Yet, when we are young, sometimes we had dreams. We had dreams about what we wanted to be and what we wanted to do, but we forget those dreams as we grow up. We grow up and the dream becomes lost, it becomes – oh, well, I could never do that.
Funnily enough, when I was 11 or 12 I had a dream to become a minister. Now I didn’t know exactly what that meant. But that was my dream. I remember it lit up my life for a time because for a short time when I was young God had an impact on my life. I then grew up and went completely in an opposite direction for the next 25 years. Forgotten dreams, though, have a way of nagging us. They have a way of coming back. Somehow, even though they’re forgotten, they’re there.
The great Australian poet, “Banjo” Paterson wrote an evocative and famous poem about a man who followed his dream and another man who didn’t. It’s a beautiful picture. The poem is called, “Clancy of the Overflow”. Now if you’re an Australian, you’ll know that poem really well. If not, have a listen. It paints a really beautiful picture, a beautiful contrast that we’re going to come back to between one man who wishes he’d followed his dream and another man who actually did.
Here it is, “Clancy of the Overflow”:
I had written him a letter which I had, for want of better knowledge,
sent to where I’d met him on the Lachlan, years ago.
He was shearing when I knew him, so I sent the letter to him
Just on spec, addressed as follows, “Clancy of the Overflow”.
And an answer came directed in a writing unexpected,
(And I think the same was written with a thumbnail dipped in tar).
T’was his shearing mate who wrote it, and verbatim I will quote it:
“Clancy’s gone to Queensland droving and we don’t know where he are.”
In my wild erratic fancy visions come to me of Clancy
Gone a-droving “down the Cooper” where Western drovers go;
As the stock is slowly stringing, Clancy rides behind them singing,
For the drover’s life has pleasures that the townsfolk never know.
And the bush hath friends to meet him, and their kindly voices greet him
In the murmur of the breezes and the river on its bars,
And he sees the vision splendid of the sunlit plains extended,
And at night the wondrous glory of the everlasting stars.
I am sitting in my dingy, little office where a stingy ray of sunlight
struggles feebly down between the houses tall,
And the foetid air and gritty of the dusty, dirty city
Through the open window floating, spreads its foulness over all.
And in place of lowing cattle, I can hear the fiendish rattle
Of the tramways, the buses making hurry down the street,
And the language uninviting of the gutter children fighting,
Comes fitfully and faintly through the ceaseless tramp of feet.
And the hurrying people daunt me, and their pallid faces haunt me
As they shoulder one another in their rush and nervous haste
With their eager eyes and greedy, and their stunted forms and weedy,
For townsfolk have no time to grow, they have no time to waste.
And I somehow rather fancy that I’d like to change with Clancy,
Like to take a turn at droving where the seasons come and go,
While he faced the round eternal and the cash-book and the journal —
But I doubt he’d suit the office, Clancy, of the Overflow.*
It’s a great poem, isn’t it? It’s beautiful. It’s this contrast of a man sitting in his nasty office that he obviously doesn’t enjoy, thinking about another man, Clancy of the Overflow, out there following his dreams. What’s your dream? You do have one? You know. Psalm 139 says this of God: It says, “He created our innermost being. He knit us together in our mother’s womb. We’re fearfully and wonderfully made. We weren’t hidden from Him when we were made in that secret place. When we were woven together in the depths of the earth. His eyes saw our unformed bodies and all the days were deigned for us were already written in His book of life before even one of them existed.”
When we were being made in that secret place, God created our DNA. He created the things that we would be good at. I believe as we were born He planted dreams in our hearts. I was listening to one woman recently and she said, “Ah, Berni, I don’t have a dream. I just want to be a mum.” I thought, how sad. I said, “Don’t you understand that is your dream. What a fabulous dream to want to bring children in this world and nurture them and see them grow and see them become powerful Christians living their lives out for Christ.” Billy Graham had a mum. The apostle Paul had a mum. Jesus had a mum. So maybe your dream is to be a mother, a wife. Maybe your dream is to be a business man, maybe it’s to be a doctor or a minister or to be a tennis star or to work with the poor. We all have such different dreams.
What’s the dream that God has woven into your DNA when you were in your mother’s womb? What’s the dream that you dream for your life when you were a child, when you were a teenager? Are you like Clancy? Do you see the vision splendid of the sunlit plains extended? And at the night wondrous glory of the everlasting stars? Are you someone who is living out your dream or are you sitting in your dingy little office where a stingy ray of sunlight struggles feebly between the houses tall?
Over these next couple of weeks, on A Different Perspective, we’re going to be looking at the subject of Living Your Dreams. Imagine getting to the end of life. Imagine being old and sitting and looking back at life and remembering a dream that God placed in our hearts when we were young and realising that we hadn’t lived it. Yet so many people go through life dissatisfied, doing things that they don’t enjoy, struggling with who they are and not living out their dream.
There’s a wonderful book called, “The Dream Giver” written by David Kopp and Bruce Wilkinson. If you go to our website to this program, you will see a link so that you can purchase that book. It is about living your dreams. It is one of the best books I’ve ever read and we’ll be referring to that over the next couple of weeks. Whatever you do, stick with us because we are going to be talking about you and me living out the dreams that God has put in our hearts. What does it look like? What are some of the oppositions that we’re going to come across here on A Different Perspective.
*”Clancy of the Overflow” by A.B. “Banjo” Paterson