“Somewhere in our past, many of us gave up on our dreams and lost touch with this essential part of our being. Sometimes our capacity to dream of a different us, of a different life, is beaten up and left broken by people and pain and disappointment. Sometimes what should be a dream inspiring us is actually a fantasy distracting us. Say, for instance, if you’re waiting to be abducted by aliens from outer space and have been giving your whole life to this dream, it’s probably safe to say this is not a life well spent.
Have you ever met someone who was pursuing the wrong dream? You know, it’s the American Idol syndrome. You are so sure of your talent and are waiting to be discovered, but even your friends don’t like to hear you sing. You might want to ask yourself, Is this a dream or just a fantasy?
For centuries now, Jesus has been a focus of every kind of research, from theology to history to philosophy. His approach to ethics left an undeniable mark on humanity. What has been significantly underappreciated is how Jesus changed the way his followers actually engaged life. He launched a movement that unleashed previously untapped potential in those who believed in him. He created an environment where his disciples began to believe the impossible and soon found they were turning dreams into reality. His became a movement of dreamers and visionaries. They were called and compelled to dream of a better world. He called them to touch the whole of humanity with his message of life and love. Theirs was a life of faith and a call to accomplish great things by serving humanity. Here, by the way, is one of the dramatic differences between Jesus and Buddha. Buddha once wrote “do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”
While I agree we must not dwell in the past, and I wrote an entire book on how to live and seize the power of every moment, I have to say Buddha missed it when it comes to the future – not to mention the power of dreams. Our dreams are where the future is fueled and created. This is one of the things I love about Jesus and the Scriptures – they call us to dream and to dream with our eyes open. To live wide awake you have to begin to dream. You have to dare to dream great dreams and find the courage to live them.”
(This excerpt is taken from the book Wide Awake by Erwin Raphael McManus, soon to be released in July 2008, Thomas Nelson Publishers)