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Sunday, October 14, 2012


In struggling with a desire to write and a lack of insight upon what to write on, I have decided to listen and be moved by the holy spirit of internet, Google. What would the almighty Google have to say today? So, I asked it and it answered back with a quote of the day, and this is what it said:

Keep true to the dreams of your youth. 
- Friedrich Schiller 
The dreams of my youth...? I don't really know if I can think back and recall, exactly, what those dreams may have been. You see, I have an extremely difficult time with past memory. I don't necessarily know why this is, but my past seems but a morning mist settling in on the prairies for a brief rest prior to departing before the Sun's midday embrace.

If I really try, I can come up with a few dreams that I may have had when I was young.

In my early youth my dream was to be a professional hockey player. I would play in the NHL and be one of the greats: Wayne Gretzky,  Lanny McDonald, and Mario Lemieux. My brother and I would play street hockey day in and day out, night and day. We even paid honour to our country by singing it's national anthem prior to our game(I was the Calgary Flames, my brother, the Edmonton Oilers). I watched hockey religiously, weeping when my team was eliminated out of the playoffs. I would be one of them some day. However, time and finances of my family, were an unremovable obstacle on the path to this dream. This was not to be.

Even in my youth I had a deep and strong desire for the divine, for the mysterious other. My parents helped to instill some of this within me and guided me while I grew. There came a time when I sought from the divine whether I should become a hockey player or a missionary. I felt a strongly at that moment to seek the latter rather then the former. My parents were well pleased with their young one's decision. From this point on I began a journey toward work within the ministry, whether it be a missionary, pastor or an evangelist. I recall my father reading to the family, when I was 14 or 15 years of age, at devotional time the biography of Billy Graham. I would be the next Billy Graham I declared. I desired to lead as many people to God as Billy Graham did.

As I grew I became more and more involved in the church and youth programs. I became a youth leader very young. Adult leaders admired my maturity and passion for God. I was often given words of affirmation from these leaders, pastors, my parents and the parents of my peers. These words gave me great comfort and fuelled within me a desire to do more and, sub-consciously, to hear more. I would become a pastor, a leader of the flock. When I graduated from high school I entered into my first year  of bible college in a Bachelor of Pastoral Ministry program. However, as time progressed and big life changes occurred I withdrew from the program in order to make a living.

Through these experiences I have learned many things, but one lesson, the deepest underlying current, of all that I dreamt was this: In all that I have dreamt and pursued to become, all have one thing in common, each one provides a great amount of attention, popularity, and affirmation. All things of which I most greatly desired and still often do.

I guess, if I am honest with myself, the dreams of my youth were to always be: admired, well known, loved and given words of affirmation. I am better discovering this as I grow and seek to understand myself.

But, what does one do with these dreams? Dreams that are not so easily narrowed down to one career,  hobby or belief. Are they wrong or perhaps misguided dreams? I'm I just a dreamer of dreams?

One thing is for certain, these dreams, the dreams of our youth and present, hold a great influence, for good or for bad, but they remain vital to our existence.

“Where there is no vision, the people perish.” 
- Proverbs 29:18 

Thanks Google, for the inspiration!


Anonymous said...

Very insightful as to your true dreams and aspirations...and then when I see your previous post, I see the balance (your lovely wife's blog always reminds me) of having dreams that make us "big" along with the humility to realize there may be more than the outward show of being something big that others admire. It's a good practice to look back and remember where we came from, in order to realign where we may be headed, even though it looks very different from this point.

Grant said...

Our "devotional reading" this morning was on Dreams. I should write it out for you so I don't misquote it or take it out of context.
But first I would share this much, of what I think I am learning. It may be an excuse... BUT sometimes I think our "visions" of grandeur, imagining ourselves to be the Lanny McDonald's, the Billy Grahams etc. etc. are encouraged by parents, pastors and teachers, but inspired of the devil. The devotional biographies that you were raised on.... did they show real humans who struggled or were they "saints" who sailed through life making one great decision after another and with a few minor detours got to where they ended up as heroes?
But an even bigger question. In reading of the spread of the Gospel in the book of the Acts, and when it talks about the thousands of believers... even in the household of Caesar, and of the many churches (assemblies) with the multiplicity of elders, and deacons, and evangelists and prophets, how many can you name? How many of these saints did Paul or Barnabas lead to the Lord? Of those who were led to the Lord, how many who led them were known as the Reverend so and so, or Prophet such and such. When we are instructed in the epistle to the Corinthians on how to use the gifts and minister to the LOCAL assembly, how many of these thus ministering had earned their doctorates in philosophy, or were recognized beyond the local fellowship? THESE are the ones that turned the world upside down, and their dream was to be faithful to the Lord, and simply bloom where they were planted.
The lie of the devil, promoted by parents and pastors alike is that unless my child excels and gains recognition by MAN, then he must be a failure. HOGWASH. The highest commendation will be: "Well done, good and faithful servant". And that will come when as a husband and father, you have shown love and leadership in the home. Then as a tradesman you have done the task at hand to the best of your ability in workmanship, and service, and in providing for the family and then the community. After that it will be for the stirring up of the Spirituals (gifts) given to you for the edifying of the body and the extending of the kingdom.

*comment continued in next comment bar...

Grant said...


I too, have imagined myself writing books now that I am learning a few kingdom principles. Or having the chance to "share" my "great insights" with the masses. HA! According to the NT, the gathering of believers in the home meant that the gifts were to be shared among the brothers and sisters present and if one had a psalm or a song, who said they had to record it and have it sung throughout Christendom? If they had a "Word" or a "prophecy" who said it was to be published and accepted as God's latest revelation for the whole church? What if today, Grant Alford was intended to write one letter of encouragement to one disciple to encourage him to continue faithful, and to look only unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith? Would that be any less "glorious" in God's eyes than if he had held a crusade, had 500 attend, and still only had one brother leave the meeting encouraged?
I think the article below MAY be an encouragement. I think what I am coming to see is that the "dream" is not about what I may do as a celebrity for the world, but rather what the "vision" or "dream" is doing for me... and then those with whom I share the dream, or live the dream. Is this not the kingdom principle of the leaven in the dough, or the mustard seed growing to accommodate the birds that nest in its branches?
"Lord, grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The Courage to change the things I can...
And the Wisdom to know the difference."

That I THINK includes "dreams". Unrealistic expectations, of others, self and God leads to discouragement, depression, anger. REALISTIC expectations and moving on them will result in satisfaction.

*Comment continued in next comment bar...

Grant said...


NO more preaching on my part. I am just going to copy the devotional as it was presented in "The Word for you today" by United Christian Broadcasters (UCB).

"I have come that they may have life... to the full." John 10:10
Sometimes when we achieve the things we strive for, we find they are not very fulfilling. As we look back we realize that our greatest hoy was not in the goal we reached, but in the growth we experienced on the way to it. Scientist Koichi Tanaka describes this phenomena and how it can come about during the enjoyable pursuit of a dream. As he worked on trying to create an ion with lasers, he says: "I failed for weeks and months before I succeeded ton making an ion. Why did I continue the experiment? Because I enjoyed it. It was fun for me to come to know something that I had never known before, and that fun enabled me to persist." That persistence helped him to win a Nobel Prize in chemistry. You have the potential to make wonderful discoveries in life, and none greater that what you discover about God and yourself.
One leadership expert writes: "The pursuit of my dream has taken me out of my comfort zone, elevated my thinking, given my confidence, and confirmed my sense of purpose. My pursuit of the dream and my personal growth have become so intertwined that now I ask myself, 'Did I make the dream, or did the dream make me?' When your mind accepts a new idea or learns a new truth, it's forever changed. And once stretched, it takes on a new shape and never goes back to its original form. When that happens, you experience true fulfillment. No wonder children's book author Elizabeth Coatsworth said, 'When I dream, I am ageless.'"

CalledtoQuestion said...

Your right, it is a good practice to look back on our past. I think just the simple reflection, the stepping out of the quick moving present, allows us to slow down enough to appreciate the now by thanking the past for all it's lessons and truths it has taught us in all that we came from.

Thanks for the encouragement. Great insights. I have been told that my story of encouragement to be something of greatness, that I would be a leader of many, strong and brave in speech, is one of the greatest harms of what the church can do. To continually feed the mind and heart of the young, ideas of prosperity and grandeur in their faith and walk in life, is dangerously misleading. When the only time you are praised is for doing something that is pleasing to "God" or the church. It is one of the most dangerous, subtle and, most often, unrecognized forms of manipulation.

Thanks for you thoughts

Kmarie said...

Woot woot Grant! Great comments. I def believe this way too and am so glad that my hubby is on the new path of realizing this truth and the dreams. Excellent points. I am so honoured to witness my hubby's deep and passionate journey of every day living.:)
Miriam: great thoughts too. I always enjoy all the banter our family shares together:)
Hubby: journey on. I support you in all of your spiritual searching and am fully aware that sometimes our journey may differ but together we can inspire and lift up. I love you.

Trish said...

Yes dear nephew, I have no great wisdom nor do I profess to be adept at knowing people....but this I will say, I am not sure that your 'dream' is just a dream or personal may not be 'yours'. Your sincerity and deep care and concern, devotion to others comes from more than you. God plants a seed.... Your 'career' or moreover, your journey here may have already been instilled in you...not by you. Seek and ye shall find. I will continue to watch your journey with great joy and an auntie's support of course...grin.

CalledtoQuestion said...

Aunt Trish:

Thanks:) for those words. I will continue to seek and never cease to be amazed at what I find, as it is usually never what I expected. Thank you for your support! Love!, having you in my family.