When I was 9 years old I had these grandiose dreams of swimming in the Olympics one day. Every day after school I would head to the YMCA and then later on GLSA (Greater Lexington Swimming Association) and I would swim…for hours I would swim…Butter, Back Breast Free became my montra (Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke, and then Freestyle was the order of the individual medly) ..and I was fast…and as I got older I got faster. I never made it past the Olympics trials…I’m not sure exactly when I stopped dreaming of the Olympics, but probably sometime in my middle teens when my choices took me down trails that had nothing to do with swimming or anything else positive for that matter…but I still remember, truly believing that one day I would be like Mark Spitz (7 gold medals in the 72 Olympics). Michael Phelps is this generation’s Mark Spitz…but Mark did it first, and I wanted to follow in his wake.
I’m not sure why we stop dreaming as we get older. Yes I know the reality of age, duties, responsibilities and the everyday grind of life chip away at our inner child…but, like Peter Pan, there are parts of me I don’t want to grow up…parts of me I don’t want to die. Jesus listened to His followers argue about greatness…James and John, along with their Mother, conspired to ask Jesus for the two most powerful and prestigious seats in “His Kingdom.” Jesus did something amazing in these circumstances…He welcomed little children into His presence…held them up and said, “Unless you become like this little child you cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” I think back to my innocent 9 year old self, dreaming of the Olympics, and truly believing in my heart that I could get there…and I wonder, “Is that some of what Jesus is talking about?” The innocence that believes the “impossible” is possible. The childlike faith that sees beyond the stuff that makes “perfect” sense into the future of dreams…sometimes even “Big Dreams!!!”
Reality is sobering. As adults we step into the place where we have to deal with paychecks, insurance, college tuition, everyday bills and stresses. But God is so much bigger than those things. Faith is on the other side of the door…it’s in a place we are afraid to go because we’ve never been there and it doesn’t make sense to the status Quo. Hebrews 11:6 is one of my very favorite verses of Scripture. It simply starts, “Without faith it is impossible to please God…” Not hard to please God…not difficult to please God…IMPOSSIBLE!!!!!
So, Church….Dream Big….stop just doing the things that are possible for us to accomplish and then patting ourselves on the back for a job well done….Let’s start pleasing God in Olympic proportions again…(no, you will not see me in a speedo…board shorts are much more my style nowadays 🙂 But, even in the midst of harsh realities…our God is bigger…Faith is stepping through the door into the land of fear….and then God is God and all our fears turn to joy. HMMMMMMMM, 53….just maybe I will break out that speedo…..NOT!!!!!