Wednesday, June 11, 2008

dreams, purpose, reality

At the moment I am sitting at my favorite coffee shop down in Seal Beach. It is a wonderful june gloom morning. I just finished building a sand castle, complete with five towers and a dollar bill flag which I left to see who would take it first: a poor surfer or a curious seagull. My guess is that it will be used to buy a breakfast burrito or something. [By this time you are probably wondering where the point of this blog lies. Don’t worry I will get to that eventually.]
Whether you are working a job or completing summer school, I do encourage you to take some time and enjoy a sunset, hike a mountain, or watch the waves roll in at the ocean. As I have gotten older (22 this month actually) I have realized the importance of taking time to breath in God’s creation. If you are wondering what heaven will be like, just look around at the things that God already created and then imagine that 200 times better. It is also easier to hear God’s voice when we silence the distractions of the world and surround ourselves with peaceful reminders of God’s love. At our age, an important question we are asking, is “why the heck am I here?” What is my purpose? Is there even such a thing as a purpose? People want to know what you are going to do with your life? what are your dreams? And I find myself wondering if the dreams and promises that I feel God has given me will ever happen, or are my dreams wishful whims that exist far from reality?
Do you remember King David from the Bible? Or maybe you know him better as David and Goliath, the boy who slayed the giant. Anyways I was reading through the book of Samuel the other day and God showed me some interesting observations about this young man’s life. First of all, David was the least in his father’s eyes, a Shepard not worthy of even being mentioned to Samuel who came looking to anoint Israel’s new king. David’s father Jesse brought all his brother’s before Samuel, but Samuel after checking all of them out did not hear God’s prodding to anoint them king. When they grabbed David from the field (probably smelling like sheep) Samuel clearly heard God saying that David would be the new king. From that day God placed a dream in David’s heart, a purpose: that he would lead a nation and be king over Israel. I am sure David after a week of going back with the sheep was ready to assume his new leadership role, but instead he tended sheep for years after. Not only that, he was still looked down upon by his brothers and family. Even after David slayed Goliath, his life is was no walk in the park. He still spent years running for his life being hated by current king, who sought to kill David with hateful fervor. He lost his best friend, lived as a refugee, and often had no one there to support him. “David’s position was desperate. He has only one precious asset: God’s promise that he will be king.” I don’t know about you, but I would have given up on that dream and figured God changed his mind or had other plans for me. Perhaps I would have thought up my own way of becoming king. But not david. “Although circumstances tested his faith in that promise to the extreme, David learns to wait for God’s timing. In the end… David inherits the throne of Israel at last.” Although it may have seemed like the dreams David was given by God would never happen, David persevered and continued to have faith. And God never changed his mind, instead he came through on the promise he gave David years before.
At first this story might be kind of depressing to think about. You may be thinking, “does that mean that in order for God to fulfill the dream in my heart I have to go through hell on earth first?” Maybe, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel: God always keeps his promises. If we align ourselves with his word, he will always fulfill the dreams he has placed in our heart, just maybe not the way we think he will. David later writes in one of the many psalms,

Psalm 20

For the director of music. A psalm of David.

1 May the LORD answer you when you are in distress;
may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.
2 May he send you help from the sanctuary
and grant you support from Zion.

3 May he remember all your sacrifices
and accept your burnt offerings.

4 May he give you the desire of your heart
and make all your plans succeed.

5 We will shout for joy when you are victorious
and will lift up our banners in the name of our God.
May the LORD grant all your requests.

6 Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed;
he answers him from his holy heaven
with the saving power of his right hand.

7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.

8 They are brought to their knees and fall,
but we rise up and stand firm.

9 O LORD, save the king!
Answer [a] us when we call!

I don’t know about you, but I know that God is in control and that is enough for me to keep pressing on.

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