"If you do not hope, you do not find out what is beyond your hopes."
Clement of Alexandria
I've hoped and dreamed and trusted for so many years for so many things. I have seen some come true, and some I'm still waiting on. Why is this so? I don't think I'm able to grasp the "why" of each circumstance. I do know that I somehow still find in myself the grip of my going on with my dreaming, hoping, and trusting.
What if what I've dreamed of, hoped for, and trusted is on the way just beyond this moment I'm in?
What is the alternative to dreaming, hoping, and trusting?
Shoot For The Moon
I've heard it said that if you shoot for the moon, you might hit the stars. If you shoot for nothing, that is exactly what you will get. I think the chance of hitting a few stars is more appealing to me than achieving nothing at all.
As if our own internal struggles weren't enough to tempt us to discouragement, there are those who have taken up the cause to help us "think things through logically." Or to be "wise" in the way we approach things. Indeed, we are to live in wisdom, but not the wisdom that this world is accustomed to:
1 Corinthians 1:20,21, CEB "Where are the wise? Where are the legal experts? Where are today's debaters? Hasn't God made the wisdom of the world foolish? In God's wisdom, He determined that the world wouldn't come to know him through its wisdom. Instead, God was pleased to save those who believe through the foolishness of preaching."
Wisdom That Runs Cross-Grain
The wisdom that comes from God will always run cross-grain to that what this world considers to be wise. Certainly, my life doesn't appear to have been lived wisely as far as this world's wisdom is concerned. First of all, I didn't get a degree that would promise me a lucrative career. Imagine spending years studying Theology and Christian Social Ministry. It doesn't bring in much money even though I earned my Master's Degree. Even so, I loved every bit of my studies. A part of me wishes I could go on further but time, location, and cost give me a reason to pause.
Where I'm located (Africa) also presents a problem as far as the wisdom of this world is concerned. I'm far from family, friends, and my home culture. I can't tell you how painful it is to be far from our families but The Name is worth the living and giving of all of our lives (see Acts 5:41, that's a blog for another day).
Not A Lucrative Career Choice
To fit in, I've had to learn languages, and cultural cues that make no sense to me, and face misunderstanding on every side.
Why choose to be far away?
Why choose such a path?
How will you pay for all the things you say you're going to do?
How will you afford retirement?
While we have saved regularly, our little savings is far from what is projected that we would need later on in life. Missions work is definitely not a lucrative career choice, but it's the only choice that's right for me.
There are no easy answers to any of those questions as far as "normal" people are concerned and it's painfully obvious that I'm not a normal person and I didn't marry a normal person either. We are a terrific misfit couple and are comfortable in our "abnormal" normal (for us) life. This doesn't mean we don't struggle or feel anything, it simply means that the One Who pulls us to do what we do, hope for what we hope for, dream as we do, and trust when everything says "give up" is far more powerful than any opposition and hardship we face.
Life On The Wild Side
Who will step in and rescue me when things go upside down? No one who has tried to convince me to do something more "reasonable" with my life will rescue me. Those who would prefer me to live "safely" would find something unfortunate to say even if I lived "safely" according to what the world thinks is wise. The only One Who has the power to save, and has saved me each and every time I've needed it, stands by my side keeping watch over me and mine.
It's for Him that I've chosen to live life on the wild side. What an adventure it has been!
Psalm 11:1,4 LB "How dare you tell me, 'Flee to the mountains for safety,' when I am trusting in the Lord?...But the Lord is still in His holy temple; He still rules from heaven..."
He still rules and that is more than enough for me. I will always shoot for the moon, I might just hit something.