Living the Dream
One Saturday afternoon I was relaxing inside my home when I heard a knock on my front door. It was a young man going door to door. He wasn’t selling anything – only promoting a well known charity. That was fair enough. What surprised me was his greeting – Very confidently he asked me “Are you living the dream?”. It threw me a bit and caught me off guard. I wasn’t expecting that question ‘Are you living the dream?”. I’m part of the baby boomer generation, and I sense that’s why we don’t usually talk like that. But it made me think nonetheless. What he meant (I think ( was “How is life for you? Are you enjoying life?”. I’m not 100% sure but that’s my guess anyway. Living the dream – what an intriguing topic. Was I living the ideal life I wanted for myself? As the phrase has become more mainstream, I’ve quietly wondered, What on earth does it mean? Maybe I’ve been missing something all these years …
“Living the dream” can mean a lot of different things. To some, it’s a life spent relaxing on a beach with an endless supply of alcohol. . To others, it could be travelling all over the world, meeting new people, and experiencing a hundred different cultures. And to others, it is a dream job where you get paid to do the things you love.
McCrindle Research says that almost one in 4 Australians ( that’s 23%) believe they are definitely or ‘mostly ‘ living the dream. *credit (https://mccrindle.com.au/insights/blogarchive/live-the-dream-research-into-australians-living-a-successful-life/) But not everyone is content with their life – 80% of working Australians are stressed about money and finances, with one in 4 acutely stressed. That’s quite a concern …
Gen X and Gen Y are the most stressed about money and finance, and are the generation most likely to struggle with planning. Half of Gen Y (53%) finds planning their life very/somewhat hard. Two in five Gen X Australians feel the same way (44%), while Baby Boomers are the most likely to find planning easy to do (25%).
It seems owning our own home is no longer the big goal – living the dream is about 2 things – lifestyle and financial freedom. And who doesn’t want to enjoy a pleasant lifestyle and have financial freedom? Riches .. leisure .. no worry. To have the very best in life .. This is great – a dream come true. But really – is the average person living the dream? I think not. Homelessness and poverty are with us big time. Do you think the guy sleeping in the park is happy about it? Of course not.
There is another way to look at this. And I want to say that GOD HAD A DREAM FOR YOUR LIFE. And it has nothing to do with money or how good looking you might be ..It’s about discovering God for yourself. When God spoke through the prophet Jeremiah, He was speaking to you and me today. Jeremiah 29: 11-13 says ‘For I know the plans I have for you – plans for peace, not evil, to give you a future and hope. You will pray, and I will listen. You will look for me intently and you will find me”. Here is God’s promise – God’s dream – for you. It’s far better than any dream or plan you may have for yourself. It’s comprehensive and full of good news.
One of my favourite writers, C. S. Lewis, says,
It would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.
The Bible says that God has put eternity in our hearts, the dream of another world, so we can never be completely content with who we are in this broken world. That’s why we admire people like Mother Teresa who had nothing this world says is a success. Yet she moved the hearts and minds of millions through her generous and loving life. She was living the dream God had given her ….Henry Ford once said, “The whole secret of a successful life is to find out what is one’s destiny to do, and then do it.” And let me add – you can only find out what your true destiny in life is…by embracing the Creator of this life and following Him.
Without direction, we are drifting through life, existing, maintaining our routine. We will never be successful without a sense of where we want to go. And more importantly, where God wants us to go.