I remember watching "America's Funniest Home Videos" as a kid. From that Sunday evening ritual I learned several important things: 1) the danger of trampolines, 2) don't trust canoes, 3) Bob Saget is a terrible TV host, and 4) the funniest ones never really win- that's just how it works.
At the time, I thought that the studio audience was all people whose videos had been shown. So when they announced the top three and blinded them with the spotlight, I was amazed by their composure. They didn't even look surprised! And as for the whole audience who had come but not been picked? Gosh, they sure were cheerful losers. I remember actually feeling bad for them, that all those people had chased a dream across the country and found out on national television that they hadn't been picked.
Eventually, I understood a little more clearly that the top three knew they were already picked and the rest of the audience was simply the rest of the audience.
I thought of this story tonight as the kids watched "AFV" on netflix, and I wondered exactly why I had worried about the disappointed dreams of a weekly studio audience.
Dreaming is a funny thing. Sometimes I think I'm a dreamer, but then I second guess myself. My dreams these days seem to include things like sleeping in, no one in diapers, a backseat without carseats, and dishes that do themselves. But then I think, Those aren't dreams, those are just longings for life to be a little less like it is right now. And by definition- I don't think that counts as dreaming.
Dreaming is thinking big, wanting space-shifting, world-shaking, life-scrambling things to come about. it could be for you, your family, your people- I guess it doesn't matter who you dream for.
Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream for his children and his people and his country. They were the same dream- that race would one day be a part of our heritage and not our credentials.
Fantine, a character from the book and musical Les Miserables, "dreamed that love would never die".
Then of course there is that iconic scene that sums up the dreams of the innocent and the jaded, proving once and for all that people from all walks of life got a dream.
I'm not sure why this topic feels so relevant to me at the moment. I think it may have something to do with the manuscript growing on my laptop, and the small seed of a dream to see that go somewhere. But there is something else, something in me that wants to have dreams and know them. I want to help my kids dream, be someone who they see work towards dreams, and I want to be brave enough to have big dreams and trust God to help me see them through.
“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” C.S. Lewis
What about you? If someone asked you, "What are your dreams?" Can you list them? Are you working towards them? Any fellow dreamers out there?