Do you remember when you were a child?
Childhood blesses us with so many dreams. We don’t have the lived experience to put them on the shelf so we consider them all to be possibilities. We believe we can be or do almost anything (or at least hope that we can).
Heading off to elementary school began to challenge some of those dreams. We needed to work harder, study more, and adults outside of our parents began to assess our abilities. Peers were not just the kids from the neighborhood and perhaps a Sunday School class. Many of them had different values and views. The person we wanted to be our best friend didn’t always respond as we hoped.
That shadowed the earlier childhood dreams for some of us. There were all sorts of reasons for that. One of the key ones was whether or not we had someone (anyone) who believed in our unique possibilities and us. If no one came alongside us to encourage us, doubts about dreams and abilities began to grow.
But it didn’t stop there. No matter which way our early dreams evolved, high school brought a buffet of challenges and more pressure than we might have expected. There were all those extracurricular activities, but now you often needed to excel to be able to participate. There were try-outs for sports, musical groups, speech, and drama groups. More of who you were was evaluated all over again. That wreaked havoc with some additional dreams.
We were being asked to make decisions about college, tech school, or getting a career and it tended to feel a bit overwhelming. It felt like a forever decision. Most of us didn’t know then that our brains didn’t mature fully until nearly 27 years old and we also didn’t have a ton of experience. How much did we really know about ourselves anyway?
Life can be a bit like a conveyor belt ride at a theme park, but we don’t know that will be the case when we are young. We don’t realize that life is always in transition and neither we nor our environment or opportunities remain the same.
Perhaps we need to learn that life gives us a chance in each new season to dream a new dream. (And it doesn’t stop as we get older or retire.)
Transitions from one season of life to another come with more than a few challenges. We can look forward to some of the changes that come with the transition and shudder at others. We can be tempted to ask, “What now?”
The answer to the question is impacted by whether or not you risk finding a new dream.
The new season offers new opportunities, not just limitations and losses. Believing that and discovering a new dream is a key to continuing growth, deeper satisfaction, passion, and a zest for living, but the key is to find a new dream (a new possibility) before the transition actually occurs.
Over and over again in the Bible we see possibilities for new dreams at different seasons of life. I think God designed it that way. Look at how many of the stories show God showing up with new dreams and big opportunities even when a person may think they are beyond the age when those are possible. (Moses comes to mind and so does Caleb when he said, “Give me that mountain” … or similar words.)
My dreams have changed many times over the course of my lifetime even though some of the pieces of each dream may remain. I love God’s unfolding design and even now am curious about what He has in mind next.
You see, whatever your limitations may be, His design and dreams for you have already taken that into account.
What’s holding you back?
Find a new dream for the next season of your life. That new dream provides a new beginning.
How like God!
God is the author of new beginnings.