Friday, December 26, 2008

Do you have any dreams for 2009?

The winter brings a special problem to us in the property management business—snow. It does not cooperate with our schedules. We clear seven blocks of sidewalks in downtown Minneapolis each snow event. The snows have been coming early in the morning or during the evening rush hour. When we have people around, we cannot use some of our blowers because of potential injury to pedestrians. All this brings me out early in the morning.

I like doing snow in the early morning; surprisingly, early morning street traffic is busy. By early, I mean between 5 and 6 a.m. Every morning AA meets at the Dunn Brothers Coffee Shop down the street. People who come to AA meetings are a cross section of our society. One man I notice drives a Jaguar car, dresses impeccably, he carries himself with dignity and class; an obvious success. He looks like a successful businessman.

Other mornings on the same street in the loading dock, “Mike”, the homeless guy, rummages through our dumpster to find food thrown out by Eddie’s CafĂ©. Mike is a little weird but friendly. He has been on the street by choice for over 10 years. He definitely is not a success by our world’s standards.

I ask a question: Is the homeless man a failure? I think it depends. Most of us believe that he is a failure. But, we can achieve our dreams like the man with the Jaguar (my assumption) and yet not feel fulfilled. We can have accomplishments, possess the symbols of success and yet feel unfulfilled. Dreams accomplished don’t necessarily bring contentment and fulfillment. (Notice: The well dressed man driving the Jaguar is going to an Alcoholics Anonymous Meeting.) He is still searching for something but what is it?

We see the dumpster-diving Mike with his stark hollow look, his disheveled life and presence, and view it with sadness. What’s he really looking for; probably something not much different than the Jaguar driving successful businessman. We just don’t see the scavenging going on in the businessman’s life, searching for meaning in his successes and accomplishments but we very openly see Mike’s scavenging.

Where are you today in a dumpster or a Jaguar? What dreams do you have? “None” you say; you’ve accomplished it all yet you’re looking for fulfillment and hope in drugs, booze, food or whatever.

I think many of us don’t have dreams because we are bored. Ravi Zacharias once said “We know that hopes come and go and that life returns to the common and the repetitive. If that fluctuation and disappointment were only momentary, we could endure it. But life is not what we thought it would be. The problem with life, then, is not that a man ends up burrowing through garbage looking for something to fill his stomach but that no matter what we have achieved or attained in our life, we still find ourselves burrowing deep within, trying to assuage (diminish) the hungers of our soul.”

We are bored to death. We lack passion for life. We lack passion for our family, work, our faith, and our community, whatever!

Do you have a dream? We should have. I believe the more impossible the better. The secret is this—serve someone else. Jesus said in Mark 10:45: “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." Serving other people takes the focus off ourselves and our problems; purpose and meaning return to our life when we become Christ to others. Let’s go and serve one another. Jesus is our example.

Joel 2:28 says: "And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.” Yes, we all need to dream.

Remember this, dream your dreams, but their fulfillment may not satisfy. Only a transformed Christ-centered life satisfies. Hold on to that in these perilous days.

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