One prediction: the Chargers aren’t going to be much fun to watch either. In fact, I probably won’t be able to watch them since many of their home games will be blacked out due to low attendance. But moving on, one aspect of the advent of football that caught my attention recently was the latest installment of the Tim Tebow saga. Tim had been signed by the Patriots, but they released him in their last round of roster cuts last week. Once again his class and character shone as he graciously thanked the Patriots’ owner and coach for giving him an opportunity and wished them well.
Whether Tebow pursues his dream or not isn’t important, except to him, of course, but it caused me to think about some of the things we say to people. “Don’t give up on your dream. If you believe in yourself, you work hard enough and you refuse to give up, you can make your dream come true.” That’s a nice sentiment and it is hopeful and helpful, especially for young people. It is a way to motivate them to raise their sights and aim high. But there is one problem with it. It’s not true.
I suspect that no matter how hard and how long Tebow tries he is not going to be a starting NFL quarterback. In fact his dream may now be holding him back, for most agree he has the athletic ability to play in the NFL, just at some position other than quarterback. Perhaps he will prove me wrong, but I doubt it. And I know many others who tried with all their might to accomplish some dream only to find that it sadly was never going to happen. Count me in that number.
So do we not encourage people to pursue their dream? I think it is fine to encourage them. Laurie and I did so with our children. But somewhere in there I think we have to warn them that the dream can be an idol. All idols are ultimately destructive, which means the dream itself can be destructive. What we need for ourselves and for young people much of the time is dream replacement. Our dream must be to know and walk with God, to honor him in all we do, whatever it may be. “Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desire of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun” (Proverbs 3:3-6). Now that’s a dream.