Dreams & Risks: Ponderings from my mid-twenties

Wow, I am awful at blogging.  Okay, let’s get to it.

As I’m now 25 and in a few months will turn the corner to 26, I’m starting to wonder if the mid-twenties can really suck the life out of you.  Or…me, at least.  I’m finding that with each passing year through my twenties the ability to dream slowly degenerates.  It happens in such a sneaky, gradual way, which I often think is the most dangerous form of attack.

I think I’ve written about this before in some past Xanga.  Heck, I wrote a song about it 3 years ago.  Maybe not about my twenties, but definitely about dreaming, loss of childhood, and loss of abundant, innocent, child-like joy.  I find for myself that all of that is lost as the ability to dream deteriorates as well.

What happens?  Well, life, I suppose.  Life happens, we experience ups and downs, and it affects our ability to dream.  Life happens, and we’re told who we are supposed to be.  In college you have the world in front of you; a myriad of opportunities.  Then all of a sudden once you graduate you’re expected to have your life together, be settled, and be competent at what you do.  Somehow, whatever dreams I had, or at least my ability to dream, was eaten up by some innate pressure I feel to be competent now that I’m in my mid-twenties.

The problem is it’s not like it just hits you all at once, normally.  Like I said, this is sneaky and gradual, which is why I think it’s the most dangerous form.

I find myself unexpectant and without anything to chase.  No huge dreams that are outside of myself, and therefore no expectations….and therefore, no risks.

I think what’s so important about risk-taking is that it makes us hang ourselves on a limb and puts us in a position that requires God to move…and then we get to see God move.

When I see students taking risks with talking to new people, or sharing their faith, being on leadership, or not being on leadership, there’s a brightness in their eyes, a freshness in their spirit, and a tangible growth because their picture of the Lord just grew a little bigger.  It’s invigorating.

Pastor Jamie has preached on risk-taking regularly for at least as long as I’ve been at Coast Vineyard.  And I know the importance of it.  I call students to take risks everyday.  But here in the mid-twenties there’s a weird pressure that makes you feel like you have to be capable and competent, and though that’s not what’s going through my head everyday, when I step back to think about it I realize that it really has affected how many risks I take.  You feel a pressure to have it together, and that means you stop taking risks, because taking risks means you’ll probably be bad at it.

Let me tell you…living safely is boring.  And stale.  And monotonous.  And lifeless.  Quite honestly, it sucks.

I want to dream again, and I want to dream forever, for that matter.  I want to chase after things that are way too big for me to do on my own, things that surpass my own capability and competency.  I want to put myself on a limb—on a lot of limbs—and position myself again in a way that requires my understanding of the Lord to grow.

Ask me once in a while if I’m taking risks.  I have one in mind, which I started (in a very small way) a couple weeks ago.  That’s actually what inspired this whole blog and thought process.  And if you have some good ideas for ways to take risks, hit me with ‘em!  Or if you have good questions to ask to help direct me in the kinds of risks I could take, ask me.  Just as a disclaimer, I don’t just want to take random risks like sky-diving or something.  I’m talking about the kinds of risks that are necessary to chase God-sized dreams….or reverse, the kinds of risks that remind me that God is one who is so huge that I need to dream even bigger.

 

over in the corner, on a dusty shelf
is the girl that once danced in circles
skin as fair as moonlight, heart as pure as gold
left to dream about stories untold
history trails behind what could be

take me back to time once told
when home was home and pain unknown
take me back to empty space
when dreams would be cherished
what happened to those days?
i wanna be where the dreamers lie
to run around in circles and dance till we die
take me back to the dreamers again

footsteps in the dirt are calling out her name
but she dances around them her own way
we’ll throw our weight around, try to tell her what to do
but her innocence makes her outweigh you
imagination craves escape from emotional graves

take me back to time once told
when home was home and pain unknown
take me back to empty space
when dreams would be cherished
what happened to those days?
i wanna be where the dreamers lie
to run around in circles and dance till we die
take me back to the dreamers again

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6 Comments

Filed under life with Jesus

6 responses to “Dreams & Risks: Ponderings from my mid-twenties

  1. The automatically generated “related posts” is interesting…for me it generated:

    I’m not a saint, just a parent
    EARTHLING!!!
    Resolution, Goals… moving ahead
    Lindsay Lohan Reveals a Half-Sister

    …haha…super random…

    I think a good place to start is to consider the dreams that you used to dream. Were they accomplished, were they written off as naive, whatever the answer I believe that those dreams have made you into what you are today, or at the very least, contributed to your desire to dream again. Maybe you can discern the direction of those past dreams and mature, rekindle, reshape them into todays dreams.

    Another consideration for a starting point for dreaming is to consider the most ideal state you could imagine for someone, some thing, or some place. Infuse that with what you know of God and his power, creativity and love. Then your dreams can not only be that ideal state, but can also spark dreams of how to pragmatically make it happen.

    On taking risks, I remember someone advising me to intentionally engage one of my fears everyday. In order to do this, I had to write down a list of my fears. This can also be a spring board to consider where God is leading you to depend on him (aka take a risk).

    Community seems pretty important to me in trying to depend on God (risk) more and to dream more / bigger. Community provides both the support, the accountability, and the refining of dreams and faith growing (risk taking). So thanks for sparking the conversation Audrey and involving your readers!

  2. Alan

    Nice Drey I like the point that we are not dreaming anymore as we get older. Man it does suck that as we get older we get more crap that just adds on with the years.

  3. 🙂 i have this song on my itunes.

    but yeah. dreaming. even IN college i wish i could dream more, yet, I see that a lot of times the dreams I have(had?) turn into faint memories of something that used to be there. Hmm. Maybe they are not well nurtured, or I’m simply reminded of how small I am compared to these dreams and end up abandoning them.

    Yeah, I’m done rambling. KEEP UPDATING AUDREYYY!

  4. Euojin

    I feel like you externalized my own thoughts in this entry. 🙂

    This reminds me of a passage from Joel:
    “…I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
    Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
    your old men will dream dreams,
    your young men will see visions.”

    I always thought it was sort of weird that old men will be the ones dreaming and young men vision-ing, instead of the other way around. I usually liken words like “prophesy” to the old, and “dreams” to the young. But maybe that’s the very reason why we are called to do something that seems to wane with age/life.

    I really like what dhoff said about remembering dreams of the past. This is a pretty Christianese answer, but I believe prayer is a good place to start. Asking God to take you to places/situations where you’re completely dependent on Him seems like a pretty risky thing to do. I wonder if we’re more free to dream (and risk) when we’re in that place of utter dependence…

  5. Jamie

    Song writing is risky. Worship leading is risky, especially if you’re real about it.
    But, maturing can be really humbling. Lately, I’ve been reading Jeremiah and asking myself, “Is faithfulness enough for me?”

    “But for the sky there are no fences facing . . .” Bob Dylan

  6. ryan

    Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)

    * A Dreamer..
    * From Dream To Reality
    * A DREAMERS DREAM GONE WRONG
    * Men Take Risks to Attract Women

    That song still inspires me…you’re right; we need constant reminders. “settle” is such an apt word to describe what happens otherwise.

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