Worldly Dreams And Heavenly Rewards

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TheDiscipleMD

As a little boy I had dreams of playing professional baseball for the New York Yankees! Apparently, I’ve read, so did a little boy named Derek Jeter! I would venture to say that thousands of little boys have grown up with the dream of playing for the New York Yankees. Derek Jeter is living his dream, but for thousands of us “other” little boys, it was….well….just a dream. For me, the dream of playing for the Yankees stopped when I became a teenager. I realized then, that my goal of going on a mission for the church and having a quote, “normal” family life, didn’t match up very well with being a professional baseball player. Of course, it helped that I came to the realization that I probably didn’t have the talent anyway. Talent plays a “minor” role in who plays for the Yankees, if you know what I mean. Still, sometimes when I attend a Yankee game my mind wanders, and I imagine myself standing out there in centerfield basking in the glory of it all. But for me, I have realized that the dream of playing centerfield for the Yankees is just that, a “dream”. It’s fun to fantasize about it, but that is exactly where it should stay in my life, a fantasy. Because the reality of it is, if I had made that the major goal of my life, my life as I know it wouldn’t be the same. I would have needed to sacrifice “something” in order to attempt to accomplish that goal. And when I examine my life, I don’t think there is anything I would want to “exchange” for the “dream”.

As we go through life we often are presented with the lives of “successful” people as the model. I have watched a number of documentaries on the lives of businessmen who have achieved great wealth and fame. There are usually interviews with contemporaries who give glowing endorsements of the hard worker that so and so was. Words like, “tireless”, “relentless”, “committed” and so forth are heaped upon the achiever.  All of which is wonderful. But I have noticed another pattern over the years in the lives of many men of industry. It’s the pattern of broken marriages and shattered families! Their business empires have become synonymous with stability and respect, while their personal relationships with their wife (wives) and children are in ruins. Becoming a successful person doesn’t mean we have to give up family in order to succeed, but for many, the goal of worldly achievements becomes paramount in their life. We should all pursue our dreams but let us remember that “all” dreams come at a cost. What is the cost of having “the dream” of eternal life with God and our families? Jesus taught:

“And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.” (Matthew 19:29-30).

I believe the Savior was trying to teach us that sometimes we will be called upon to sacrifice “worldly” dreams in order to gain “heavenly” rewards.  Sometimes this sacrifice can be a hard pill to swallow. But if we keep our earthly dreams in perspective, we will see that gaining our eternal ones is well worth the cost. On another occasion the Savior taught:

“He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.”(John 12:25).

He wasn’t teaching us to “hate” life, but rather, that if we live our lives pursuing our own glory, that glory will be lost to us when we die. But, he who puts the Savior first in his life, will gain eternal glory in heaven. Dreams are wonderful to have. But, as a similar old sayings goes, “Be careful what you dream for, because you just might get it”.

 

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