“Stand up, Stand up, Stand up, all you dreamers..” *
Spend five minutes talking to anyone under the age of 12 and you will more than likely hear about some dream they have. Especially if you ask them. It is one of my favorite things about listening to little children-they have so many dreams. Sometimes they are dreams like wanting to be doctors or singers and sometimes they are dreams like wanting orphans to be adopted or children to have food. In every case, in their mind, the world is limitless.
But something happens as we get older. We start to see limits. We listen to voices who try to quiet those dreams. Voices who talk of the impossible and the impractical. Voices who speak of the unreasonable. Voices who say you should get a job, buy a house, have a family, and live a quiet life. And while some of the dreams of our youth may have been impractical-like time traveling or turning things into gold-I think a lot of those dreams just get put on the shelf labeled impossible because they are too big, too hard, too much for us to consider.
Or maybe we are too worried we will fail. Worried we will set out to do something and come up short. Maybe we stop believing in ourselves because of mistakes we have made. Maybe we spend too much time looking at the successful people around us and decide they are better educated and better looking.
Regardless, at some point, I think all of us can admit we had a dream we put on the shelf and replaced it with a more practical, logical dream. One we were pretty sure we could be able to accomplish and one which seemed to be socially acceptable.
I will admit, I am guilty of this. A lot. I have always been a dreamer, but the second someone suggests it might be impractical or illogical or hard, I usually place it up on my shelf and move on. Every once in a while, I grab hold of a dream and I hang on to it for dear life. And a funny thing happens when you grab an impossible dream and fight for it-people start noticing. And they start joining the cause. And ever so slowly, the dream that once was impossible, starts to seem a little more possible. I was reminded of this last week. While the details will stay locked in my heart, I remember going to sleep that night with a very real sense that a) someone else believed in my heart, passion, and dream and that b) I could take on the world.
Maybe that’s why kids are such good dreamers. Because we affirm their dreams. We pay attention to them. And we very seldom tell them their dreams are impossible, even when we know they are. Perhaps then we need to treat each like more like children and less like adults. Maybe the only way to truly change our lives, our communities, and our world is to spend a few minutes dreaming together and pretending once again we live in a world with no limits. And sure, we may hit a roadblock here and there. A set-back. Or a chasm so big that we decide is best to scrap the dream and start fresh. Regardless, may we never stop dreaming. May we never stop believing the best in others and the capability of each and every dream to make a difference, start a ripple, and ignite a fire of change that cannot be stopped. May we stand up as dreamers. And trust our dreams to the hands of the One who holds our hearts and has proven over and over that impossible by earthly standards means nothing to Him.
*Wake up, All Sons and Daughters