Encourage Dreaming

My 7-year-old daughter's school music program is next week. The theme is "What I Want to Be When I Grow Up." Instead of having the kids all dress alike, the music teacher is having them all wear a costume of what they want to be when they grow up. My daughter is going dressed as a hockey player.

Now, the likelihood that my petite little girl is going to actually make a living hockey playing hockey in the National Hockey League is miniscule, but we haven't told her that. She's a smart kid. She'll eventually figure it out. But, right now, we're going to let her go ahead and dream about playing hockey for a living.

You see, right now, she has a big dream. If I use the thorn of reality to pop the bubble of that dream, then I take away something precious from her. At 7 years old, it's harmless for her to want to be the next Alex Ovechkin.

When I was younger, I wanted to be an astronaut. You'll note I'm not currently hurtling through space on the space shuttle. My parents probably knew I wasn't going to end up as an astronaut (I hated math), but they encouraged my dream. They even sent me to Space Camp.

God gives us talents, dreams and ambitions. If we are so mired in reality that we insist on popping the bubble on our kids' dreams, we take away the opportunity for them to stretch their imaginations, try new things and eventually find the special place that God has for them. You know, if someone had told me that being a journalist was a lousy job that didn't pay much, had horrible hours and was a profession populated with cynical people, I would never have gained the skills that allow me to write this blog.

God has given humans an amazing capacity to dream -- sometimes beyond our capacity to reach. But, think of what amazing feats we would have missed if someone had told Picasso he would never be an artist or if the Wright brothers had listened when people told them they would never fly.

Jesus said "With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God" (Mark 10:27). While we might think our children's dreams are impossible, you never know which one of those dreams God may make possible.

So, encourage your kids to keep dreaming, and dream some yourself. Who knows 15 years from now, you may see a petite young lady with curly hair taking the ice -- in the NHL.