I was running errands around town, radio blaring, when the Doobie Brothers were interrupted by ad for an insurance company. My favorite station runs this ad a lot; you too may have heard it. It starts with an announcer asking, “What is your dream?” and then you hear different voices answering the question. The answers vary… keeping a roof over his family’s heads, learning to play her dad’s guitar, driving coast-to-coast…. Finally, the announcer promises that whatever our dream is, they can insure it.
I’ve heard this ad dozens of times, and it has always sort of bothered me, in a nagging, not-quite-right sort of way—sort of like noticing a picture frame that isn’t quite level. However, I never put my finger on it until a few days ago, when I had that “aha!” moment. Maybe it was the Holy Spirit prodding me.
Every time I’ve heard this ad, I begin to wonder. What’s my dream? Sure, I have lots of dreams, but if I could pick only one, what would it be?
I enjoy and am thankful for our home, and I do dream of the perfect house. (Ahem, God? Could you please put me down for a craftsman cottage instead of that mansion with all the rooms?) I’m excited about learning to use the camera equipment I received from my dad, and I dream of being published in National Geographic (hah). I have a long list of places I’d like to see during my lifetime. Most of us have aspirations like these—fame and fortune, loving relationships, the realization of some goal we’ve had for years—but are these the dreams God would choose for us?
Or, to put it another way, what are God’s dreams for us?
You’ve probably heard the story about the Sunday school teacher who asks her class, “What has a furry tail, lives in trees and eats nuts?” One of the kids raises his hand and answers, “Gee, it really sounds like a squirrel, but I know the answer is Jesus.”
We laugh, but in this case, perhaps the answer really is Jesus. At least, that’s what popped into my head that morning as I was listening to the radio: “Is your dream to be like Jesus?”
I was caught off guard. In a moment of personal honesty, I had to answer no. “Being like Jesus” is on the list, but it’s not number one—at least not always.
Yes, I want to be as kind and giving as Jesus, but am I willing to be inconvenienced in order to be that kind and giving? I want to stand up for righteousness, but that will surely result in rejection, and I’m not sure I can handle that. I want to love like He does, but that means laying down my life, not just once and for all, but day by day, even when it hurts.
I want to always listen to God and do what He says… so long as it doesn’t conflict with my plans. I want to be just like Jesus, but I don’t want to pay the price.
I think that most of the time, my actual dream is to have my way and be comfortable.
It’s easy to have the kinds of dreams that are protected by insurance. God’s dreams for me are scary! I think the next time I hear that radio ad come on, I’ll change the station.