Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Don't Quit

When a songwriter moves to Nashville, a novelist seeks a publisher, or a singer tries out for American Idol, what's the first piece of advice they always hear?

Don't quit your day job.

Not quite discouraging, but boldly realistic.  Those five words sum up the journey those dream-chasers are about to embark on.  It'll be hard.  Uncertain.  Full of twists and turns.  There will be unexpected highs and unimaginable lows.  They'd better cling to what they have because chances are good that things won't turn out anything at all like they'd hoped.

So why do they bother?  Why do I bother?

What is it about a dream that keeps us moving forward?  For me, it's a reason to get up in the morning.  I've written before about my dream to become a foster/adoptive parent, and waking up with that goal in mind keeps me pressing on, keeps my thoughts and efforts focused somewhere besides myself.  Sure, it's meant working 2-3 jobs at times to be in a place where that's financially possible, but to me it's worth it.  I've dreamed of providing a safe haven for kids in need almost all my life.

Just because it's worth it doesn't mean it's easy, though.  Sometimes, I want to turn down house-sitting gigs and just sleep in my own bed.  I want to splurge on a new car or a vacation.  And I admit it- sometimes I even want to quit.  I want to stop the striving and saving and working towards a goal and just... live for today.  But I know that I can't.  This is the task God's given me, and until I see it through, I have no choice but to stay reliant on Him.  (And let's face it, when this dream does come true?  I'm going to need Him more than I ever have in my life, and yet I can't wait for that time to come!)

That's why I fell in love with a piece of artwork I found at Hobby Lobby that (I thought*) read "Don't quit your dreams."

Don't quit your dreams.  That advice is perhaps even more important than sticking with what's tried and true, isn't it?  After all, it's our dreams that offer us hope and our dreams that keep us at the foot of the cross where we're meant to be. Our day jobs might make us a living, but it's our dreams that give us a life worth living.

*God encouraged me so much through this piece of art that I went back to buy it last night. Imagine my surprise when I realized I'd misread the quote the first time around. Oops! "Don't quit your day dreams" is a nice sentiment as well, but if I'm being honest, I waste a whole lot of time on those, and quitting them might not be such a bad idea. ;)

So, what about you?  What's the dream that keeps you going?

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