No doubt most of us are watching the Summer Olympics, enjoying the competition of the world's finest athletes going for the gold. I am continually amazed at their physical condition, their effort to win, and how smoothly they run, swim, or dive. Even in my dreams, I am not that good. I am also struck by the raw emotion: the joyous celebration of victory and the agony of defeat.
All of us chase our dreams. That's good. It goes hand in hand with life's goals, purpose, and hope. Our dreams motivate and inspire us. They push us forward to be our best, to excel.
But, dreams can be elusive.
We just returned from a vacation on a lake in northern Minnesota. One day my son-in-laws, Jim and Greg, were out fishing. Jim caught a HUGE bass. Have you ever noticed that when you are not along in the boat that the fish was HUGE, absolutely HUGE? Hmmmm. Then Greg caught a HUGE sunfish. Funny, I didn't know there were HUGE sunfish. Anyway, while Greg was holding the stringer to put his HUGE sunny onto it, the bass decided it was time to make a break for it. Zip. The stringer hit the water and the bass was gone stringer and all. It happened in a blink. Just like that, the caught fish was gone, not to mention my stringer.
Dreams can be elusive. And just when we think we have attained them, they can be gone. In a blink, just like that, they can disappear again. Now I "have it," now I don't. We might spend years waiting for our proverbial "ship to come in" only to have it sail away again the next morning.
I am reminded of what the Apostle Paul wrote; "Whatever were gains to me, I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. Everything is loss compared to the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. All is garbage compared to gaining Christ" (Philippians 3).
Why is "knowing Jesus" the best dream? Jesus knows us by name, loves us unconditionally, forgives our failures, inhabits us with His Spirit to give us abundant life, and promises to give us eternal life. Romans 8 says, "Nothing will separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ." His presence within us is His gift and promise. Now, that is awesome, not elusive. That dream is not going to swim away.