There’s an interesting distinction between fantasy and dreams. It’s not something I’d really given much thought to until recently. I guess I’d kind of resigned myself to the belief that the way of life I longed for belonged more in the world of fantasy than as a dream that could possibly come true.
So here’s the thing; (I can’t quite claim this thought as my own, it was raised as part of a life coaching course I’ve been studying.) The basic concept is that dreams and fantasy are both an adventure into our imagination, both existing outside of our everyday experience. Fantasy however, isn’t rooted in any kind of reality but dreams are subtly linked to reality. Dreams are an exploration of possibilities, creating an understanding of what is and what could be.
Children are incredibly gifted in fantasy, spending hours in a world far from their own, enjoying the unrealistic possibilities of what will never be but seemingly quite content with that truth. As adults our fantasies change, some healthy, some not so much but all a form of escapism from the day to day ordinariness we so often live with, yet still not rooted in reality, still an unrealistic place for our thoughts to dwell for too long.
Dreams however, those imaginary events that we would love to come true, and oneday possibly might, still often seem slightly out of reach from our everyday. How do we bridge that gap between what we dream of being, doing or becoming and the truth we live with today? How do we root our dreams in possibility and not let them drift into the realms of fantasy?
I think that’s where the Jesus story offers some wisdom. The description of the ‘new heaven and new earth’ seem more at home in the world of fantasy. The concept of a time and place where the first are last and the last are first, where there are no more tears or pain or even death, a world where values are rooted in who you are not how much you earn, how clever you are, the size of house you live in or the car you drive…where love really does win every time and peace is how it is. Where generosity, kindness, joy and patience are in abundance and wine is never lacking(!!!?) A world of fantasy or a place dreams…
Just as we often struggle to see how our dreams become reality it’s hard to see how the Jesus vision of how life could be becomes reality too. Yet what if, to see this vision become real, in the same way as we want to see our dreams become reality, we simply have to begin?
What if the Jesus story isn’t fantasy, what if it is a possibility? What if we were to start to act as though its true, to offer more kindness and generosity, to take a breath in those moments where patience wouldn’t be our natural response, to choose to love and forgive rather than hate and seek revenge. Peace on earth isn’t out of reach but it does seem to require more of us than we often want to give. Which makes me wonder if Whitney and Kygo* were right to invite us to consider whether there is a force or energy outside of us that inspires us and calls us on, a higher love or power, or whatever name we give it.
So whether we look at our own paths and long for our own dreams to be realised or whether we look at the world around us and long for a better reality, the challenge might well be the same. Maybe we need to work out the next step then dare to take it? Maybe we need to take time in our everyday to connect with that higher love? Maybe it is possible to discover that dreams really do come true.
** Whitney Houston and Kygo, Higher Love
🎵Think about it
There must be a higher love
Down in the heart
Or hidden in the stars above
Life is a wasted time
Look inside your heart
And I’ll look inside mine.🎵