Of Goals and Dreams
Monday, October 25, 2010
I don't know what I want to say here. This blog is one of my famous, "by-the-seat-of-my-pants" blogs. I usually start out tenuously and then find a direction as I go. Seems like that's pretty much how my life goes. I rarely, if ever, have started out with a specifiic goal and then pursued it to its completion. I have such a hard time, even now in Spark, coming up with a goal and then pursuing it with any degree of mindfulness. Usually, if I do well--or don't--it's a matter of dumb luck or fate. Part of this problem (at least, of late) is due to my short term memory loss problem. As I mentioned in a prior blog, even REMEMBERING THAT I HAVE A GOAL is difficult for me, let alone to recall what the goal is!
I guess my statement in the first paragraph is a little unfair to me. It's true that, for the big life goals with which I started out - with great gusto and not a little anticipation--that God intervened and my failure to meet the goals was truly due to no fault of my own. Maybe it was those early experiences in my college years, when poor health and serious illness derailed all of my career plans...in fact ALL of my future plans...both then and forevermore, that turned me off of the whole goal process. Those experiences taught me that "We propose and God disposes" and in my case, he 'disposed' of all of my future plans and substituted ones that I never would have chosen...and then gave me the strength to follow those bumpy paths.
Does that mean that it is wrong to hold goals? No, I don't believe so....but we should never hold so tightly to them that we are not steerable in other directions or that we cannot endure when God insists on a change of our plans. To have the goal is what gets us into motion...like a car leaving someplace in order to reach a destination....However, we must be steerable in accordance with the Driver's plans as well as with the road conditions. We never know when a detour may come up and take us in a completely different direction.
If we do not have a destination in mind, we may never start our engines...but remain content to be parked. I'm like a car, whose driver continually forgets where he was going and gets diverted and distracted into all different directions than that for which he'd started. And this is NOT helpful in terms of accomplishing anything really worthwhile in my life. Because all worthy accomplishments must start as a dream and then work their way into a goal...Goals,as opposed to dreams, require sweat and effort in order to realize them. Dreams tend to be fleeting ideas that cross our minds at times but toward which we do not strive. If we DO strive toward the dream, it must first become a goal with a specific plan of action in place in order to attain it.
My problem is, honestly, that I have stopped dreaming. OH, I do dream of being once more, thin, and active. However, honestly, it's been so many years since I've been physically fit, that I don't even remember what it felt like and wouldn't know what to do with it if I obtaIned it. I look forward to the feeling of looking good and knowing I do...but I haven't actually translated that scenario into concrete ideas of where that might lead me or take me in my life and future. I don't have dreams like that anymore. My dreams were all smashed by poor health years ago...and I 've never had the nerve to resurrect them or even to replace them.
I think that it's time to come up with some longterm goals and ideas about where I'd like my future to take me. I know that it is all subject to my health being in agreement and cooperation wih my goals and up to the sovereignty of God, but still I do think (thanks to Spark) that it is time to think about some of these directions so that I can aim my car there. And somehow I need to enmesh these goals into my brain deeply enough that memory lapses won't erase them. Here I run into a bit of trouble though. I can't think of ANYTHING that I want with that degree of passion or desire. And that is sad.
I think I've given up all of my wishes and dreams as life taught me over and over that God has the last say and I shouldn't count on anything and that the less I desire, the less disappointed I'll be when it doesn't happen. i know that this is a terribly pessimistic attitude to hold, and it makes God out to be (unjustly I should add) to be a giant party pooper rather than a God who says "I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper and benefit you and not to harm you; to give you a hope and a future." as God said in the book of Jeremiah. I think I've probably squelched God's desire for me to dream BIG,...as big as HE is and as he removed all of my petty dreams in order to make room for plans of his own. Rather than dreaming BIGGER, I turned it around and quit dreaming all together.
I'm almost 48 years old and I have several serious diagnoses. is it too late to begin to dream big?? Is it too late to take some of those dreams and convert them to goals? I think the answer to this is pretty obvious especially to anyone who's read The Spark or hung around this site for very long. I don't have a couple of hundred pounds to lose...I only have about thirty more to go...but I have a body that has thwarted every dream I've ever dared to dream. Now I've got a new hip which has greatly improved my mobility; I've avoided any hospital-worthy asthma attacks for the past six months; I'm getting into shape--better shape than I've been in for years....who knows what the future holds for me? It's tie I stopped expecting to get kicked in the teeth and instead started looking for some of that "hope and future" that God has promised me. Maybe I just need some practice with making and attaining small goals first an,d then as my confidence increases, I will be able to make some bigger ones. Right now, I've killed off so many of my desires and wishes that I honestly can't think of one that I would like to attain, other than making it through the winter without being hospitalized, and since I don't have much control over that, I don't think that even falls into the cateogory of a goal but is rather a wish.
I seriously need to begin to come up with some goals other than just losing the weight and getting into shape. Time to look beyond the moment I'm in and to strive toward an attainable goal! If only I knew WHAT.......?