Really?

Really, is that really it? I would bet you have heard this question before and someone is asking it because they believe there is more than what has been said or done. I remember sitting down with my advisor in college, and they asked me, what do you want to do with your life. To which I answered, be a high school math and science teacher. Why is that Bill? I want to be a teacher because I like to teach, and teaching math and science as a male would make me marketable. Then they asked me a question that changed our whole conversation. Bill what is it that you really want to do? It stopped me in my tracks and I had to think for a moment, not that I didn’t want to be a teacher, but instead what is behind your desire to be a teacher. Well I guess I want to teach people, because I believe that we can change lives through teaching. Suddenly the conversation had changed and they asked me, Bill how do you believe you can best in the best situation in life so that you can teach in such a way that leads to life transformation? I changed my major to better prepared for seminary to teach as a pastor, not a high school teacher, and now sit here as the pastor of this church.

She asked me a simply question, really? Yet that question pushed me to look deeper, to see if there was anything below the surface that I had not yet considered. I found that what was below the surface was something quite significant and different than my initial answer. When I was asked to look deeper it led me to a different solution than I had initially thought of. It allowed me to put my dream in a different perspective.

One day I was speaking with a gentleman who wanted me to pray for him that he might get a promotion at work. When I asked what lead him to ask for this prayer, he said that he wanted to move up in the business. Is that really why you want us to be praying for this I asked? To which he froze and then met my eyes with laser focus. Bill, I grew up in a house where things were tight financially. I did not go to college, and always wondered, what if I had gone? My family does not have a ton of extra money, but I want to make sure that if my children want to go to college they can. So with a raise, I could start a college fund for the kids, so that they can have opportunities that I never had. His response to the question, “really?” changed our entire conversation and prayer.

What dreams do you have? What dreams do you have for your life, and for your church? Why? Really, is that really what is behind your dream? What will it take for you to achieve it? Because what you really desire might change how you go about trying to make it a reality. The Christian Band Rush of Fools has a song called “Can’t Get Away,” and it opens saying this, “God, I am an arrow, I am a rocket, Cause You are the target and the atmosphere.” No matter our dreams or hopes, at the end of the day our desire needs to remain in God, our final target needs to be what God’s target is. But are we ready for that? Are we ready for what God’s desire and targets are in our lives?

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