I have a confession to make. I am a hopeless daydreamer. Again and again I withdraw to worlds of my own making, even though I know I should stay in this one. Each time, I struggle to drag my unwilling mind back into reality, resolving to keep my head out of the clouds and my feet planted firmly on the ground. But soon I find myself dreaming again. Back and forth it goes. And I grow weary of the fight.
And then I read something that shocks me.
“Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth…”
And I begin to understand. I was never meant to keep my head out of the clouds; that’s exactly where I am meant to be. Not the misty dreams of my own creation, but the Reality that exists in the heavenly, spiritual realms.
My mistake was in thinking that reality lay in this world around me; the world I can see and hear and touch. But that’s just small “r” reality. The truest Reality is the spiritual world that exists just beyond the reach of my senses. The Reality of a spiritual kingdom, of battles raging, of a Hero of valor and goodness, an ending so happy and beautiful that it is beyond even MY wildest dreams—and that’s saying a lot!
And in this realization—in this Reality—I find the truest and most noble employment for my imagination. God invites me with a sparkle in His eye—“Try, just try to imagine what My Reality is. Give it your best shot. Make it as glorious as you can. Even then you will fall short.”
And you would think that with such an offer, such a worthy challenge, such an opportunity to explore undiscovered depths of truth and beauty, that my mind would be happily engaged in Reality and never long for fiction again. But still I find myself slipping back into fantasy. And I am disappointed. And I wonder why. But deep down I know.
In my dreams I am in control. I am the central character of the story. And I am amazing. Witty, calm, captivating, brave—the very best version of me I can muster.
But that’s not Reality. It isn’t even small “r” reality, although I sometimes live like it is. I often choose a self-centered perspective, grabbing and grasping for control, desperately trying to present a me to the world that “has it all together”.
But big “R” Reality brings me face-to-face with Truth—that I am a very small, broken part of a story which I do not control—and I am disillusioned and I am overwhelmed. And it turns out I am woefully unprepared for Reality.
But then a glimmer of understanding hovers at the edge of my mind, and although I grasp it imperfectly the paradox leaves me breathless. By becoming nothing, I begin the process of becoming far more than I ever dared hope I could be. By giving up all control I receive the freedom to write a few small lines of my own into this cosmic drama. Only when I am stripped of my illusions can I see my deepest, most beautiful dreams fulfilled.
And so I am left with this. My fondest dreams are self-deception. The reality of this world is mere illusion. Invisible things are the most Real. And that Reality far exceeds anything I could ever imagine. And so, when I run hard after Reality with all that is in me, I receive my dreams back again.