There have been a couple of examples recently in which people have won record amounts in Euromillions or whatever, and the journalists’ reports almost always refer to the winners buying their ‘dream house’, and/or their ‘dream car’, or going on their ‘dream holiday’. Whatever it is that they’re going to spend their newfound wealth on, it’s always something they’ve apparently dreamt of. Probably the most overused phrase by lottery winners would be, ‘it’s a dream come true!’
Not wanting to be proud but these people have way less ambitious dreams than I do. When I wake up in the morning I don’t remember taking a sports car for a test drive or looking round country houses and imagining where my bed could go, I remember myself flying, or being immensely strong, or being able to move things using my mind! Mostly flying.
The thing is that actually if I invest enough time and effort into most of the dreams lottery winners talk about, I can achieve them to a certain extent. If I make enough sacrifices, I could probably go out one day in a few years’ time and buy my ‘dream car’. But then it would probably break down one day, or get stolen, or whatever. Randy Alcorn wrote about this:
Who would want to divert kingdom funds to build a dream house on earth if they understood that either it will leave them or they will leave it? Instead, why not use our resources to send building materials ahead to the Carpenter [who] is building our dream house in heaven?
C.S. Lewis summed this up well, as he so often does:
Christianity proposes not to extinguish our natural desires. It promises to bring the desires under just control and direct them to their true object.
So our true dreams can be fulfilled, it’s just that they probably won’t be fulfilled while on earth. But we have a unique opportunity as Christians to store up for ourselves these treasures in heaven, through abstaining from sin, performing good works, and radically using our money, possessions, time, and skills for the glory of God right now. And, by the way, this isn’t a selfish thing (only doing good now because we’ll get a reward later). The treasure we have stored in heaven will increase our ability to glorify Jesus in eternity, so doing good works now actually enables us to do more good works forever!
Shall we all become a bit more radical for our eternal good and God’s eternal glory?