Destroying the Daydream

DaydreamLife doesn’t always go as planned.

Okay, it basically never goes as planned.

At six years old, I believed I would be a prima ballerina when I grew up. At eight, I expected to one day become the first female President of the United States. At seventeen, I just knew I was headed to a prestigious military academy, and at twenty-two, I thought I was about to live the American Dream, wearing a power suit in a high-visibility corporate job I loved. At twenty-six, I thought I was getting married, and I’ve always planned to start having kids by thirty.

We all envision the future scenes of our lives, but no one envisions scenes of being 36 and still single or 32 and already divorced. No one envisions scenes of infertility or being miserable in your cubicle at that so-called dream job or being forty and still trying to figure out what you’re supposed to do with your life.

PulitzersThere are moments where everything seems to be as it should be, but then the scene changes to one we don’t want or expect. But why don’t we expect the inevitable heartache and pain? We live in a broken world of Ebola and ISIS and cancer. Where did we get the idea that life is a fairytale where we all get happy endings?

I am especially surprised at my fellow Christians, myself included. Jesus couldn’t have been clearer: “In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart, for I have overcome the world.” Is there any way to interpret this other than: Expect suffering?

It’s time that we begin to see life clearly. King Solomon desired to be a master of the way the world functions. Ecclesiastes 2 is Solomon’s grand experiment to find the secrets of pleasure and happiness. He had every pleasure imaginable at his disposal. Solomon lived in greater opulence than Bill Gates with a steamier sex life than Lil Wayne, but in the end, he beat his head against the wall because he found nothing but emptiness; he found that “everything is meaningless.”

Lil WayneKing Solomon observed much in his desire to understand the world’s workings, and near the end of his life, he wrote that there are two types of people in the world: “There is a righteous man who perishes in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man who prolongs his life in his evildoing.

Ultimately, he determined that belief in karma is folly. Bad things happen to good people, and good things happen to the evil people in this world. We must come to terms with the fact that this world is a dark, broken, unfair place because if we don’t, we will continue to expect the fairytale, be perpetually disappointed and ultimately question God’s goodness.

So are we to be people without hope? Are we to be the bitterest of all people? No. We are to have joy and hope in what is to come; faith that God is working all things together for good. God is a loving Father who desires to give good gifts to His children, and we know that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him, even if we can’t see the big picture in our finite human minds.

Solomon goes on to give advice to the two types of people in the world: “Be not overly righteous, and do not make yourself too wise. Why should you destroy yourself? Be not overly wicked, neither be a fool. Why should you die before your time?”

The advice to the wicked is expected: There are natural consequences to our actions. I think most people realize that. What hit home for me was the advice to the righteous. I have been the righteous man, perishing in my “righteousness”. I have pointed my finger at God, saying, “I did everything you asked me to do. Why would this happen to me, of all people?”

This mindset toward God is foolishness. Any mentality where I think, “If I live rightly, I will be cocooned from trials” is a false mentality. In my self-righteousness, I sometimes subconsciously believe that God can be manipulated. “If I just pray the right prayer or read the bible enough and abstain from premarital sex and never get drunk and go to church every Sunday, then I will have forced God into a corner where he has to give me the good things I expect for my life.”

HopeBut life doesn’t work that way, and the omniscient, omnipotent God of the Universe certainly doesn’t operate that way. “Should we accept only good from the hand of God and not suffering?”

You can’t control your life. But that’s okay, because God does. And He is good. Jesus Christ is our mediator before the Throne of Grace, and in Him, all things hold together. God can be trusted with our futures, even in the bleak moments and dark scenes we never would expect or wish for ourselves. We can be grateful in the good times and thankful in the hard times, because God truly is working everything together for good.

We need to see clearly now. Trouble is certain, but it is temporary. Jesus is coming back, and when He does, He will wipe away every tear from our eyes and make all things new.

Authentically Aurora

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11 thoughts on “Destroying the Daydream

  1. Ahh, lovely words. There is truth there, too. Sometimes when good things happen people like to say, “I have the Lord’s favor,” and I want to tell them, Job had the Lord’s favor. The Lord’s favor often involves boils and heartache. Read the book, it explains everything. 😉

    I was going to be ice skater when I grew up. I still skate pretty well, both roller skates and ice, something that impresses the kids because they can’t even stand up, LOL! It’s fun when you can do something kids can’t.

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    • The #1 question I get from my atheist friends is, “If God is good, why do bad things happen to good people?”

      As you say: “Job had the Lord’s favor. The Lord’s favor often involves boils and heartache. Read the book, it explains everything.” Amen!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I was watching the Today show on my morning break like I always do and they pointed out the key to happiness(we know the truth that only true happiness can come from God), but they said the key was low expectations. That is true for the most part. Not expecting to be the president, or the CEO or the Disney Prince or Princess. I think in a way it makes sense. God doesn’t care if we are a CEO or wealthy beyond our means like Solomon, but that we do good in whatever station of life we have been given. To not expect things from God when we do good, but to expect that we will be rewarded in the time when God has for us. He does let us know that when we are obedient we will be blessed, but doesn’t promise when, or where or how.

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    • I am perpetually disappointed by people, and my dad has always told me to lower my expectations. My daddy gives wise counsel, but that advice has always sat funny with me. I don’t want to have to lower my expectations! I want people to step up to the plate and be the best that they can be!

      I think the secret for me is to have expectations in the right vein. They can be high expectations, but they have to be the right expectations. What I mean is, I should fully expect people to behave badly because we are all sinful and fallen and broken. But I should also expect great things from God; I should expect Him to work beautiful things even in the brokenness. And I should expect goodness from the hand of God always, even when it doesn’t feel good at the time. Because although people will disappoint me, God never will.

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      • Yes, you should always expect good things from God, but He doesn’t always do them in the way we want them or how we want them. The disappointment is always from us and not having enough faith in Him that things are working out a certain way for a good reason. He wants us to grow from our disappointments.
        And yeah people will disappoint you because we are human. Dang us for being human and dang people for disappointing us all the time!

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  3. “then I will have forced God into a corner where he has to give me the good things I expect for my life.” Boy, howdy, that was a rude awakening. I had serious, not righteous, words for God that day… Those days. I guess there were a few. How could he let those things happen to me? How could he let me down? How could he not answer my prayers? I saved up all my good girl points and they counted for nothing when I tried to cash them in.

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    • “I saved up all my good girl points and they counted for nothing when I tried to cash them in.” – Oh, man. That statement hits home. How often I forget that all my so-called righteous actions are like filthy rags before God’s holiness! I think you and I are living parallel lives, Mrs. Spike! 🙂

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      • Yeah, it’s a bit surreal to hear from my doppelganger. If we are on parallel paths, though, I can let you know… it gets better 🙂 I’ve seen God comfort me through my worst moments and swell with pride at my accomplishments. The good deeds count for nothing in comparison to His sovereignty, but he’s more concerned with our relationship with him than He is about granting Brownie Points.

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  4. One of the greatest things about God is that sometimes he doesn’t answer my prayers because sometimes what I want, isn’t always the best! Also, I love challenges so I’ve learned a lot from the pain and heartache of life and people, which has ultimately made me a stronger person and most importantly, a Christ-follower! Jesus Christ is not magical genie that doesn’t answer all of our questions…He expects us sometimes to figure it out or learn from our mistakes. Even though God is perfect He is always able to use our mistakes to glorify Him! If people expect him to be some Genie, then they totally misunderstand what God and Jesus are all about!

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    • Hi Jermaine! Yes, I have spoken with Jehovah’s Witnesses before, although not in depth. I personally disagree with their interpretation of Proverbs 4:18 that there is new revelation in light of Revelation 22:18-19, as well as the fact that their interpretation does not make sense within the context of Proverbs 4.

      Additionally, I wholeheartedly disagree with their stance against the Trinity in consideration of verses like Genesis 1:26–27. There we read that “God said, “Let US make man in OUR image” Here God is a plural noun, said is in the third-person singular verb form, and we see both the plural pronoun our and the singular His referring to the same thing (God’s image). This is not horribly confused grammar. Rather, we are being shown that God is a plurality in unity; i.e. God is Three in One: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

      Why do you ask?

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