“Go confidentially in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”
– Henry David Thoreau
(see picture right)
After thanking the person for their thoughtfulness, and after promising to “make sure and hang it up somewhere,” (per their request) I immediately drove a nail in the darkest recess of my closet and hung the thing up behind those pleated houndstooth trousers of mine that seemed like a good idea at the time but which I have never been brave enough to wear in public. (see pants pictured below)
The reason for hiding the picture out of view behind the hideous puffy fronted slacks was because Thoreau’s quote made me physically ill. To my mind Thoreau’s philosophy was/is little more than a 19th century version of our modern day hollow Hollywood “just look for the hero within” nonsense that mankind has had an ongoing infatuation with since Genesis 3. Nevertheless, the quote does implicitly raise some interesting questions.... Such as:
What are my dreams?
What is the life I've imagined?
Is my dream to live the best life I've imagined, as Joel O'Steen - er, I mean - Thoreau has encouraged me to? And if so, how does this square with the words of Jesus who said:
“...what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?" - Jesus Christ (Mark 8:36)
Not to put too fine a point on it but there doesn’t seem to be much room for going “confidentially in the direction of my dreams” in the Lord’s statement above.
Indeed, one application of the words of Jesus is this: Don’t waste your life searching for "the life you've imagined." Here's another application: "Don't waste your life on your dreams... on the "American Dream"... or on any other dream.
In Ephesians 1:3-14 the Apostle Paul writes of something far better than our dreams. He speaks of God’s redemptive plan for His people in Christ. Paul speaks of this plan as being - if you like - God's dream. A dream to orchestrate His own grand cosmic drama through which He would graciously bring people into right relationship with Himself for His own glory. It is a vast unfolding story of God's love for His people and in it men and women find something far greater than they could have ever dreamed of...
Why not read Ephesians 1:3-14 and allow your dreams to be brought into line with God’s.