After much consideration, I realize that I have but one dream for my children. In the aftermath of 1994, Nelson Mandela, when asked what his dreams were for our country, said something more or less like, “How do you mean? This is my dream”. In a sense, my children are my dream. I am living the dream. I confess, some days are more like a nightmare, but most days, I find myself able to stand outside my chaotic feelings and just look at them. In those moments, I am filled with the utmost wonder because of the fact that they are my children. They represent all that is undeserved grace, they are one short of the greatest gift from God that I can in no way deserve.
The prophet Kahlil Gibran was indeed wise when he said of our children, “For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.” I realized a few months ago that all the countless dreams I’m cultivating for my children are actually becoming a burden. These dreams are not wrong in their intention, but they are way beyond my comprehension. As my children grow older and I experience their total uniqueness, I realize that I can in no way truthfully put my dreams for them into words that encompass their whole being and future. And for me to then try and pray about these dreams is simply impossible.
For, indeed, they live in the house of tomorrow. Sometimes, when I watch my children go about their ways and ask them what they are thinking, I realize that it is a privilege when they decide to allow me into their thoughts and dreams. My thoughts and dreams for them are influenced by yesterday, by my past, my shortcomings or unrealized potential, by my perspective. My dreams are often little boats floating on big seas, being thrown to and fro, influenced by the times and what this big world requires of us. Unless I have something, or Someone, stable to cast my dreams upon.
A few months ago my son and me were discussing hand signs. He saw the ‘safe sign’ somewhere and showed it a few times and during that time I read an article on this sign, with the conclusion basically being that it is obscure. I know different opinions exist, so I told him that he rather shouldn’t show signs that we do not know the meaning of. We were holidaying on the coast and I read a part in Job where God explained the creation of the oceans. Hoping it will help my children to think about the greatness of God, I read it to them one day on our way to the beach. My son didn’t want to listen. When I looked up, he was looking at me with anger, showing me the exact sign we discussed he rather shouldn’t. In that moment, I saw the spirit of rebellion rearing its ugly head. This was not mere disobedience anymore, not a phase that will blow over as he gets older. I realized with agony that I was completely out of my depth. I remembered the story my dear uncle used to tell about the parents doting over their new born child and how perfect he was when a wise man came by and said, “Ah, but the devil also has a finger in this pie!” Our children are born in sin and the devil is fighting for their souls just as much as we are dreaming about their bright futures.
Afterwards, I found myself praying ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ more and more. Specifically, “Let Thy will be done.” Nowadays, it is often all I can think of to pray. My children fit into God’s dreams, not mine. For He created them to be way more that I can ever think or dream. What a relief it is to realize that I do not have to take specific dreams for my children upon myself. This it is not my territory.
My dear children, I am documenting my one dream for you today. It is that you will make it your life’s purpose to come to know in your deepest being the incredible love and grace your Creator has for you and that everything in your life will be an outflow and answer to this. For this understanding will transcend every aspect of your being and your ways. That you will “but first and most importantly seek His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you.” (Matthew 6:33)
And that is all I need to know now.