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Dream BIG

Do you remember "taking sides" in some game you played as kids? You'd all stand on the sideline, two people would pair off as the "captains" of the teams, and then one-by-one each person on the sideline would be "picked" to be on one of those teams. I remember being disappointed at times because I may not have been the best at some particular sport...so I was picked toward the end, almost as a "have-to" instead of "on purpose". At other times, I was one of the first picks, simply because I did well in that game. There are times we do well and stand out; at others, we aren't so proficient in our actions, leading to rather poor outcomes, but we still 'stand out' - just not in a right way!

Get out of my life, evildoers, so I can keep my God's commands. Take my side as you promised; I'll live then for sure. Don't disappoint all my grand hopes. Stick with me and I'll be all right; I'll give total allegiance to your definitions of life. Expose all who drift away from your sayings; their casual idolatry is lethal. You reject earth's wicked as so much rubbish; therefore I lovingly embrace everything you say. I shiver in awe before you; your decisions leave me speechless with reverence.
(Psalm 119:115-120)

What those team "captains" were doing was selecting those who they felt would be to their "benefit" on their "side" of the field - they had some form of confidence they were selecting so as to "win". They saw some advantage to having a particular player in their ranks because they knew the outcome they were desirous to achieve and believed those individuals could help achieve it. Some of those teams were chosen because they had demonstrated their proficiency - others were chosen based on some element of trust. Either way, the teams came to pass.  Our psalmist reminds us of the advantage of having GOD on our side - his presence produces life! We may choose him because we know his abilities, or perhaps we have chosen him because we trust in what others have said about his abilities. There is just a little bit of a difference there, but an important one. Choosing because you know and trust is one thing - choosing because someone else says you can trust is another!

Do you remember ever sitting down with a pen and paper, writing out a list of "dreams" you might have for the future? As a kid, we made mental lists of things we hoped to accomplish like being a firefighter, flying to the moon, or having a particular car when we grew up. As adults, we have similar lists - some written and others still quite 'mental' in nature. Lists such as the one that begins with, "My ideal mate would be...." or "The best job I could have would be..." or "My ship will have come in when..." When we are engaged in making these lists, we are outlining our "hopes" or "dreams" - things we haven't realized, but would like to at some point. Hope is simply the feeling that what is "wanted" can be obtained - the events we find coming our way will lead to the outcome. Without hope, people really have no reason for living. We all have "grand hopes" - impressive in size, sometimes highly ambitious, but hopes nonetheless. It is often the very fact that we have someone walking beside us during the lean times when hope seems to disappear that we hold onto the hopes we have formed. It is in the "sticking power" of God that we can and will find our hopes bolstered.

Do you remember the last time you "shivered in awe" of anything or anyone? There have been moments in my life when the "awe" of the moment just overwhelmed me - the birth of my two children, the moment by grandsons took their first breath in this world, the day my Dad "pinned" me at my nursing graduation. I recall these events because of the "affect" they had on me. The memories of "awe" at the birth of my two children were moments I looked back to when we were struggling through all those moments of teenage rebellion or wayward behavior of some sort. The "awe" produced at the pinning ceremony as my Dad looked into my eyes with such pride and just a hint of tears is a fond memory I hold onto now that he is gone - waxing nostalgic now and again. The very decisions or actions of God should leave us in a place of absolute awe - speechless with reverence.

Don't mist it...  It is in the "recall" of God's greatness, his keeping power, his attentiveness to the details of our lives that we are "bolstered" in our faith, able to stand "strong" in our walk, and "upheld" in our beliefs. Sometimes we do well to "remember" what God has done (Past Tense). It points us to what he IS doing right now (Present Tense)! It is good to have memories - their purpose is to spur us on, not hold us back! What you remember will definitely affect what your actions might be that you engage in today. Past wrong actions hopefully lead to present better actions and present better actions hopefully lead to more and more 'good actions'. Just sayin!

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