The siren-like sound of an alarm clock busts apart your frolic through a field of stars. Waking with a jolt, you tiredly check the time. Apparently, you pressed the snooze function one time too many and now you’re an hour late. Jumping out of bed, really with no direction at all, you rummage around your dresser for a clean pair of underwear while simultaneously putting on a shirt you don’t think you wore yesterday. Rushing to the bathroom, it’s a race against the clock to splash water on your face, do up your hair in a pony (because, gals, that’s all we have time for at that point), brush your teeth (most likely while peeing) and dab those lashes with a bit of mascara.
Ladies and gentlemen, if you’ve never had this life experience, you will one day. Even the most disciplined people have their off days. A late morning really sets the tone for the hours that follow. I haven’t missed an alarm lately, however, I have reached a point in life that feels that way.
We all have dreams, desires, ambitions. Sometimes those things seem right at our finger tips. If we just reach a little farther, we can grasp them. Oddly, as if in a dream you have in sleeping hours, the more your reach the farther away it gets. I begin to wonder, then, if those sorts of dreams are the ones I should be reaching for. I had this dream for many years, a certain one that never seems possible, though people tell me it is. Recently, I woke up, and really with no direction at all, began pursing a new life to attain that dream yet again.
However, as if just beginning to shake off the grogginess of that late morning start, my awareness is shifting and I see that frolicking through a field of stars isn’t really what I want for my life. I desperately needed that siren alarm clock. I came to a point of realization that, despite what I want, or even what looks possible, I have to go after what God has placed in my heart. And it looks pretty different from the dreams I had for such a long time. I’m beginning to be okay with pursuing a new dream (which really isn’t all that new), with laying down what I thought I wanted and taking up the greater He has in store for me. I feel if I hold on to this dream that I want so badly, I will keep waking up from it, morning after morning, with no direction whatsoever.
Let me make one thing very clear, I absolutely believe that God gives us dreams. I believe He has created each one of us special and unique with abilities to pursue the very things He places in our hearts to accomplish. As one becomes older, it’s often difficult to sort through the dreams that are our own and the ones that are His. Maybe that’s just me. Or, as you get older, you believe too much that nothing is attainable at all. I think both are difficult waters to navigate. One thing I’m growing into is an understanding that you cannot live your life based on feelings. If you’re a Christian, you have to listen to God and do what He says. This is the only way to really have peace.
I’ve been back to my Washington home several times this summer. Before I left home this time, I was talking to my dad about indecision, which is a rare thing for me. He admits that he’s made more decisions in life to please others than he has because he believed them to be true to his heart. This is a place where I constantly find myself. I think I also woke up to the reality that I developed a dream for others out of something that used to be my passion. I realized the pursuit of that dream, or even a failure to achieve it, became a direct correlation to how people would think of me. And you can’t live your life based on that either. My dad told me he was proud of me, regardless of what amount of success I attain. Because success, he said, isn’t based off of how many people know who you are, it is rooted in the number of smiles you can put on someone’s face. It’s the hope of conversations, the life change noticed over a cup of coffee, and yes, sometimes a song you write. That is my dream. It’s one I will never tire from. And so, I admit, things will look a little different now, whether it’s from my own perspective or the things I may do in the future. Whatever the case, I feel more awake and alive than I ever have.
Now with more clarity than I’ve had in a while, I’m thankful the alarm went off this morning.