Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes

Dreams.  Such a small word that can mean so much.  To some a dream is only the unconscious firing neurons, to others it is a message to be deciphered, others still it is the haunting word that measures how successful they are in adulthood.  Whatever connotation you give the word dreams, they have this impact on our lives like water has on rocks, even the smallest dream changes our shape a little.   

When we were children we dreamed of conquering the world, being famous, becoming a life saving doctor, and some of us have been able to realize those dreams.  But somewhere along the way to adulthood we learned that dreams are for the lucky and the strong.  That is until the month of December hits and we are faced with another year over, but a new one just about to begin.  We challenge ourselves with resolutions – to get fit, to spend more time with the family, to get a better job.  We think Santa will bring one of these in a nicely wrapped red and green box and solve all our problems.  The problem is, that is not how dreams work.

Dreams are for the lucky and the strong because they are willing to fight for them.  Those that realize their dreams are those that were specific in them and more importantly, took the first step in action.  For me, in my dreams of life I have worked hard to take action at every turn and believe that someday soon my dreams will be realized.  But, sometimes I need an extra push. 

Sometimes our subconscious pushes us to get the courage we need to take the next step.  For me, it was a nightmare, really, of the past in the present.  Things that had once happened appeared in the present and in the dream I fainted.  Now, in my very little research of dreams fainting seems to mean two things.  First, you are about to get sick and second, you need to face a problem in your life.  For me, I think it meant both. 

I actually did get sick after the dream, sick enough to seek medical advice.  But in thinking upon the adventures of the past month, I realized there was something I was avoiding.  The dream alerted me to a problem with a friend of mine and gave me the courage to address it.  Well, either that or the sickness took over and I went crazy!  (For my sake, let’s stick to the former). 

Although this dream was subconscious, I think it acts the same as our conscious dreams.  The thought of a dream means nothing unless you are willing to go for it, take action, and make change.  Sometimes those dreams are nightmares that just encourage you on to better things.  Dreams are not meant to be stored up and never realized.  They are meant to be impactful, just like every one of you. 

This Christmas remember that Santa may not bring your dream to you wrapped up in buttons and bows, but there is someone who will help you realize the desires of your heart and show you how amazing you truly are, that your dreams really can come true.  I encourage you all to enjoy the true meaning of Christmas – the birth of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  If you have forgotten Him, that’s ok, a great place to get reconnected is telling Him your dreams and then remembering that He gave up everything so you could live an incredible life.  Merry Christmas friends!  

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Your a Mean One Mr. Grinch

Christmas bells are ringing on the street, on the radio, and in our hearts…weather we like it or not.  We are in the midst of the most stressful and most anticipated times of the year.  It is this very conundrum that we find the highest suicide rates and the most giving.  I wonder why this is?  How can we be so depressed we kill ourselves and yet this time of year is deemed the most happiest time of the year?  

With a little thought it is not hard to understand why.  As adults, just as kids, we surround ourselves with expectations; the only difference is the expectations themselves.  As children we awaited the gifts, we expected the best present, and hot chocolate and cookies, and warm fires.  Our expectations were simple.  Today, as adults we expect much more of ourselves.  Instead of focusing on what we will be receiving at Christmas we try to out do each other in giving, we remind each other that someone just got married, or had a child or got a raise and use this as a time of competition and one-upping the other instead of the simple miracle it was meant to be.  

As adults we have polluted the beauty of Christmas by culturalizing it.  As a scholar of cultures, I usually find it helpful to integrate into the culture to understand them.  But I have found that in doing so, we sometimes loose the beauty that is difference.  You see, we have take a day that was meant to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and commercialized it – not just in the giving of material possessions (thank you Happy Honda Days) but have made even that a competition with mythical saints (thank you Apple and Best Buy).  
Where are the simple joys of childhood in a world wrecked by wars and recession?  Where are the simple joys in saying, you know what, it is not about a gift, or what amazing things happened this year that you can bring up to compete with others. It is about a God that loved so much He gave.  WE did nothing.  Nothing to deserve it.  Nothing in aiding it.  Nothing.  Yet we expect.  We expect ribbons.  We expect tags.  We expect packages, boxes, and bags.  When that is not enough, we expect raises, and bonuses, we expect boasting, we expect to be set up to look the best.  I think it is time to admit we are all a little bit of a Grinch.  
I know I am at fault too, perhaps the worst culprit.  I find myself ashamed sometimes of what I do, that it is not good enough for the circle of friends I have.  I read the Christmas cards as boasts instead of salutations from friends afar.  I have taken the joy out of my own Christmas.  So, I guess I wonder when did this happen?  But more importantly, how do we change all this?
What can we do to stop this cycle that is plaguing this most glorious and celebrated holiday?  How can we be a Who who just loves Christmas a lot?  What will it take?  Volunteering for the less fortunate?  Baking some treats for your coworkers and not putting a name on it?  Taking away presents all together and remembering what it means to just spend time with the people you love?  How does one humble themselves?
This season, I ask you to think on these things, as I will and do.  As you come up with ideas or you have some traditions that you think help you, please post on my page so we can all learn from your wisdom.  Merry Christmas everyone!  God Bless!