As a teenager, I always found it frustrating when people would tell me I could be anything I wanted to be, yet so often when I tried, I met with failure or rejection. You want to sing in that ensemble? Nice try, but maybe next time. You want to work here? Appreciate your time, but you don’t have the experience we want. (It’s a puzzle to me how people want teens to have experience, but where do they expect them to get it?)
Although I don’t agree with telling teens that if they dream to be the president, they can be (because quite frankly, the odds are not in their favor), I do stand behind the saying that we can be what we want to be. Yes, there are limitations, but oftentimes, they are the ones we place upon ourselves.
That said, our dreams are not going to magically appear. In fact, they probably won’t play out the way we expect them to.
What I have learned is that when you chase your dreams, you slowly start to achieve them.
I was not born a runner, and for certain reasons, thought I could never run (although I’ve always enjoyed being active).
Then one day, my twin brother Dave challenged me to do a 5K mud run with him. “But you have to at least run the mile first,” he told me.
It wasn’t pretty, but I determined to press on.
Flash forward a year. Today, I run about once a week, maybe more. Nothing impressive, but I’m much better than when I started. I’ve run two 5Ks, light years beyond my original expectations.
Dave seems to have higher goals for my speed and distance than I do, because he is always pushing me. To be faster. To go farther.
Some days, I don’t feel like it. Like the other day.
“Just leave me in the dust,” I wanted to tell him as he effortlessly circled back to check on me.
He grinned and shook his head. “You always run faster when you’re chasing me.”
He dared me to finish in 7:45. I told him I’d be glad for 8:00 minutes.
I finished in 7:40.
“See, you run faster when you’re chasing me.”
I hate that he is right almost all the time.
The Apostle Paul knew something about races. In I Corinthians 9:24, he wrote, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it” (ESV).
The prize Paul talks about is an eternal prize, one that is imperishable or won’t fade. It is sharing the gospel with others.
Whatever your dream is – whatever my dream is – we need to pursue it in light of eternity. In this race of life, we’re all running toward some goal (at least, we all should be).
Some days, we get tired and want to quit. Some days, we just don’t see that we’re getting where we want to be. We’re tempted to ask, “What’s the use?”
Just remember: We run faster – and grow closer to achieving our dreams – when we’re chasing them.
The question is: Are you up for the chase?