God is Stomping On My Dreams
by Keith Murrill
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The world can be divided up into two types of people. Those who are dreamers and those who like to snatch those dreams, throw them into the dirt and jump up and down on them in the name of pragmatism. I guess you figured out which half I am. ;>) (And I married the other half...although the stomping on my dreams thing was a slight exaggeration). To borrow a phrase from Asian philosophy, she is the Yin to my Yang. The Laurel to My Hardy. The gravy on my biscuits (Ok...that one was weird). But in the grand scheme of life her ilk, the pragmatists, have it easy. Here's why.
Most pragmatists are even-keeled, steady Eddies who seem to take all that life throws at them in stride. They are typically content, even-tempered, and achieve many of their goals. (and Yes...most of us dreamers wish we were more like them, but will never admit it). As for us dreamers, disappointment and frustration are a constant companion. Our life is ridden on the roller coaster ride of hope and despair where crushed and broken dreams are a fact of life. Period. Because let's face it. We live in a sinful world that has failed the hopeful since the Garden. When the infant artistry of Creation became thorns, and thistles, and work. When all was lost for several thousand years. Am I painting a bleak picture? Are you thinking to yourself, "What a miserable, glass-half-empty, cynic this guy is." If you are, you'd be right. (If you aren't then you must not be paying attention). I have been called that more than once in my life.
Not that I don't have every reason to be cynical. I have dreamed more dreams in my life only to see them fizzle, fade, or be utterly annihilated. And I'm not talking about self-serving, it's-all-about-me, show me the money, American Idol fantasies. No, I'm talking about things that I know God placed on my heart. Psalm 37 states, "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires [dreams] of your heart." I chase after the Lord and He gives me dreams to follow. And follow I do. With passion and zeal and reckless abandon. Then God snatches them away. He breaks my heart.
When God commanded Abraham to slay his son Isaac, Abraham obeyed. God gave him his dream, he was now taking it back. But it doesn't say he was happy about it. I wonder how long Abraham held his son just to feel him in his arms alive one last time- the motion of his breaths, the feel of his dusty hair brushing on his father's sunburned face, Isaac's arms clasped tightly around his fathers shoulders tighter and tighter as he begins to understand. I bet Abraham wanted to hold him for days and days. His promised son. I wonder what the raw, hideous emotion of that moment was like as Abraham was raising the sacrificial dagger to do what only the pagans did (sacrifice their sons to their gods). I can picture Isaac wailing, screaming, with tears and sweat soaking him and the stone altar he's on for fear of his life, his face contorted, terrorized as he watches his father about to plunge the knife into him. I see Abraham, sobbing uncontrollably, confused, and angry, pacing back and forth, trying to make sense of this strange command...and finally with nothing but the fear of God left to move him, he commits himself to God. Of course we know how the story ends.
If that is the ultimate test of my devotion to my Savior, I predict more testing and dream crushing in my future. But in my 23 years of walking (sometimes scraping along on my belly or dragging on my hind parts) with Jesus, I am learning more and more that the ultimate dream is what's on the other side of that torn curtain. It is He Himself. Am I yearning for my dream or dreaming of Him? How often do I cling to the dream and take my gaze off the Dream Giver? For me, a little less now (I hope) than 23 long years ago.
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Good evening, Your article held me fast on every word and I even imagined your voice. The build up to where this father's heart would be crushed by what he was about to do to obey God had me holding my breath. This story has always left me with fear and goose bumps, but also a big sigh of relief. Thanks for your comment on my writing. I am the Jack in the box that jumped out. Many blessings wished for you, and your heartful contributions!
Keith, if i may call you that. First thanks for your comment on Rainbow Water. I can't remember when i enjoyed reading something as much as i did this. You truly have the gift to write and convey your thoughts and walk with the Lord. Just a awe-inspiring piece of work. Keep writing and welcome to FaithWriters.