Dreams vs. Reality
Posted: Wednesday, November 25, 2009 3:30 pm
The melody was so comforting. So absolutely beautiful. At first, I thought it was a CD being played through a massive sound system. But something in the voice sounded more real and personal than a CD. I rose from the uncomfortable seat at the terminal and set out to find the origin. The Nashville Airport was crowded on that Wednesday morning and few seemed to pause and notice the soulful country music in the air. Following the sound, I eventually reached a little airport bar where I saw a man clad in boots and cowboy hat sitting on a stool with an old guitar on his lap. As I watched him play and sing, there was an awe-inspiring sparkle in his eyes. It was as though he didn’t know. Like he didn’t know he was in an airport bar on a Wednesday morning. Few people were in the bar that morning. Even fewer placed money in the round Ball jar which sat at his feet. I was dying to know his story. Had he recently had a “mid-life” change of heart and decided to pursue his dream? Or had he sat on stools like this one for more than 20 years? Did his family support his singing at a bar on Wednesday morning or had they long since stopped believing in his music? Did it bother him that there were those with lesser talent and better connections…who had made it to the “Big Time”?
At the airport that morning I was brought face to face with the concept of dreams vs. reality. Most of us err on one side or the other. Some people live only in a world of absolute concrete reality. Work. Pay bills. Work again. Pay bills again. They’ve never stopped to wonder about their passions, talents, or gifts. They long ago resigned to a life that was less than they had dreamed of in childhood. Perhaps they’ve even made peace with the fact that this is just “the way things are.” The way things were meant to be.
Then there are those who err on the other side. Their entire life has been lived chasing one fleeting dream after another. Always making plans for the “big break.” Never believing that plain old hard work and sacrifice could be a part of their destiny. No. They believe they’re too talented for that. Their family members call them lazy dreamers. They live in a clouded world of what could be “just over the horizon.” They can never seem to live in the sweat and hard work of the moment.
I don’t want to be either of those people. You don’t either. Both errors spring from deep-rooted misconceptions about life. The first error is rooted in a belief that God put us on the earth to punish us, to squash every bit of joy or creativity out of us until we cry “uncle” and surrender to a life of gray. The second error is that God put us on earth to constantly be happy and get everything we ever wanted. That idea produces a life reminiscent of a spoiled child. There’s a place in the middle or so I’ve come to believe. I don’t want to live a life without big dreams. But I don’t want those dreams to keep me from cooking pinto beans and spending time with the ones I love. Can big dreams co-exist with a seemingly ordinary life? I plan to find out.
Contact Lisa at email@example.com