Do you want to fulfill your dreams?
You need to surrender your dreams to God.
Many people have taught you to seek your dreams.
But very few have taught you to surrender your dreams.
Don’t get me wrong. Seeking your dreams is important. I always tell people, “You need to know your dream, define your dream, and pursue your dream. You need to have a firm grip on your dream–to eat, talk, walk, and sleep with your dream. I believe that if you don’t seek your dream with fierce commitment, your dreams won’t come true.”
But there’s a second phase to fulfilling your dreams.
At a certain point, after seeking your dream, you need to surrender your dream to God.
Or else you won’t have peace.
In the Bible, God told Abraham to sacrifice his son on the altar (Genesis 22). From personal experience, I’ve noticed that God asks us to offer what is most dear to us.
God calls you to surrender your dream on the altar.
Let me say it in another way. There are two extremes that you need to avoid.
First is when we have no dreams. There are people I know who wake up in the morning not knowing what to do. Because they have no dreams. And a person who has no dreams has already started dying.
That’s why every Sunday at the Feast (our weekly spiritual gathering), I teach people how to dream. I teach people to write 7 dreams on their Novena to God’s Love (it’s a little booklet we give to all first timers)and pray for them everyday.
The second extreme is when their dream consumes their life, it actually destroys them, or destroys their family, or destroys their health, or destroys their relationship with God.
These are people who say, “Unless I get a husband, I won’t be happy.”
Or “Unless I get healed, I won’t be happy.”
Or “Unless I get a baby, I won’t be happy.”
Or “Unless I get a house, I won’t be happy.”
Or “Unless I get a US Visa, I won’t be happy.”
How do you know if you need to surrender your dream to God? When your dream becomes more important than your life. When your dream steals away your peace. When your dream steals away your God.
What does surrendering your dream mean?
I’m not asking you to give up your dream. I’m asking you to give up your attachment to a specific version of your dream.
And that also means surrendering your attachment to a specific timetable of your dream.
Surrender means trusting that God has the best version in mind for you. That God’s best blessing will come in the best time and in the best way.
When you surrender your dream, you’re saying, “Even if I don’t get this dream, I’ll still be happy. Because my trust is in you, Lord.”
I believe something magical happens when you put your dream on the altar. When you surrender, you hear God speak to your heart and say, “Child, will you still want your dream if I tell you that I have something better for you?”
I want you to say this prayer to God right now: “Lord, I’m trusting you. I’ll still seek my dream with joyful passion, but I will surrender my attachment to the details of my dream. I will open myself to your wonderful surprises.”
God Will Allow Temporary Disappointments
My mother wanted me to be a priest.
When I was a little boy, she told me, “I’m praying that you become a priest. I’m not forcing you. But I’ll be the happiest woman in the world if you become a priest.”
Talk about subtle emotional manipulation (Haha).
When I was 16 years old, I took up philosophy for my college course, so that just in case God really called me to priesthood, I’ll be ready. (A.B. Philosophy is required for priesthood.)
After college, I also took all the required subjects for a Masters degree in Theology, again, just in case God really wanted me to be a priest. All the Bishop had to do was send me to a seminary for a year or two–and viola–I was ready for ordination.
But God never called me to be a priest.
When Mom learned that I had a girlfriend, it broke her heart. Aside from the fact that no woman was good enough for her son (Except for Mother Mary), her dream for me to become “Fr. Bo” was slipping through her fingers.
I’m sure there were many days when she imagined me to be a priest. I’m sure she imagined me wearing the clerical garb, celebrating Mass and consecrating the host. And one day, that beautiful picture was blown to bits.
But I also know that through many tears, Mom surrendered her dream for me to God. Like Abraham, she placed me at the altar.
And God gave her another version of that dream.
I didn’t become a priest. But I became a preacher, an author, an entrepreneur, and a leader.
Today, when my mother thinks of me, she’s still the happiest woman in the world!
I love being a lay preacher. I love sharing about how I raise my kids and how I love my wife–stuff that priests will never be able to share. And without the long robe, I feel a lot more irreligious people can identify with me.
Friend, God has a way of fulfilling the dreams in your heart in the best way possible. He will allow you to be temporarily disappointed, but never permanently disappointed.
You don’t have to understand it all. Just surrender your dream to God. Just let it go. Just let God. Enjoy your life today, even if that dream seems to be so far away.
In due time, you’ll see the best blessing coming your way.
May your dreams come true,
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