Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Do What You Gotta Do

First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to
do. -- Epictetus (55-135 AD) Roman Philosopher

Isn't it easy to talk about what we want to do? A young couple moved in next door to us recently and one of their first goals, apparently, is to chop down all the trees on the lot behind their property. Naturally none of the neighbors want him to do so, as he doesn't actually own that property. My thoughts are simply wait and see. It takes a lot of time and money to chop down 40-50 full grown trees, not to mention clearing the downed trees from the lot. I'm reminded of when we first moved into our house. I had such great hopes for the place, including an addition. I figured within a couple years, we'd have turned our little two bedroom ranch into a spacious two-story. Seven years later, I've learned there's a big gap between our dreams (okay, my dreams) and making them a reality.

I've learned to be patient when it comes to home improvements, which is about the only way I can put up with a rotting back porch, with its broken windows and door that hangs on one hinge. I just look at the positive improvements we have made - a remodeled gameroom complete with wood-burning stove, new kitchen floor, new retaining wall and widened driveway. Bit by bit, piece by piece, we're seeing our dreams come to fruition.

But I'm veering from my initial thought. I see three groups of people in the above quotation:
1) Those who dream
2) Those who do what they have to do in order to reach their dreams
3) Sadly, there are those who don't dream at all. I can't imagine a life without any dreams, without any hopes, without a feeling of dissatisfaction pushing me towards something better, towards excellence. But there are people who don't dream at all.

Just curious - which category do you fall in? I think the challenge for most people is making the leap between the dreams and the reality. I often linger too long at the dream stage, trying to qualify it. Is it worthwhile? How much will it cost? Do I have the time to invest in this? I'm learning that lingering in the valley of decision does nothing to get me up the mountain. If I'm confident my dreams & plans are God-given and I've allowed God to define and refine them, then what I need to do is move ahead in faith.

1 comment:

Cindy said...

Dianne, I sent you an e-mail! :)