Field of Dreams: My All Star Moment

Dreaming is a tricky thing.

I’m not just talking about the kind where you place your head on a pillow and close your eyes, although night time dreams can inspire our waking dreams or desires.  When I was twenty I had a dream I married a girl name Sarah.  When I woke up I believed it was actually going to happen, so for two years I didn’t talk to girls, unless her name was Sarah.  This is a slight exaggeration, but I let that dream hinder how I lived.  Fortunately, that dream died, later than it should have, but only after I made myself awkward around a few too many Sarah’s.

The other night I dreamt that I was back in Guatemala.  Dreaming I’m back in Guatemala is pretty typical.  Most mornings when I wake up I tell myself, “well, guess I didn’t dream about Guatemala last night, must be over it now,” but then ten minutes later my dreams come drifting back through my mind and yep, I was in Guatemala again.  I feel like I dream about Guatemala so consistently because the country and the people there mean so much to me.  I am very grateful for all of my dreams, but unfortunately another aspect of my dreams is most of the time they turn out unresolved.

In my last dream, I was in Guatemala for the graduation of some of my students.  It felt so right to be back.  In my dreams it’s raining, as it is always raining in Guatemala.  I am teaching again, but IAS looks different.  It is more like a castle, which is odd, but not odd enough to tip me to the fact I’m in a dream.  My students are listening to my every word, and who can blame them, my lecture is flawless.  Bam, I know it’s a dream.  Then, in a flash, it’s time for graduation and I want to celebrate each kid, tell them how special they are.  But before I have a chance to tell anyone how great they are I have a light saber battle with Lord Voldemort.  But before I strike the killing blow, I wake up.  Always.  I never see it to the end.  It’s horrible.

Crazy, right?

Waking up from an unresolved dream is annoying, but living life in a dream world is a tragedy, because you never actually live. Like when I was dreaming about a girl named Sarah.  Yet, I would be lost if I didn’t drop off at night and let my mind create.  Sadly, if all I did was sleep, living in my dream world, I would be even more lost.  I believe we must dream in the real world and go after those dreams, because  “If we are afraid to dream grand dreams, then we live empty lives.”

I have many dreams or desires in my life.  I want to write professionally, have a family, become more like the man Jesus created me to be, and maybe go back to Guatemala to teach again, and it would be a shame if I didn’t go after those dreams.  If I live my life just dreaming I’ll never reach my potential.  I must take action.

In Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone Harry comes across a strange mirror.  It’s a mirror that can tell the dreams of a man’s heart.  The mirror is aptly named the Mirror of Erised (desire backwards).  In the mirror Harry sees his parents, who have died.  He spends hours just staring at them, settling for the unreal fulfillment of having his parents with him, instead of living his life and creating actual relationships.  In the book, Dumbledore, Harry’s headmaster, warns Harry away from spending too much time in front of the mirror.  Dumbledore tell’s Harry, “It does not do well to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”

Living is part of taking action.  I can spend all day dreaming about life in Guatemala or becoming a writer, but if I never write, I will have never lived.  I will have never reached out and taken a risk.

And so as I have grown up my dreams have changed.  I have let go of my dream to be a rock star (can’t sing), being president (not corrupt enough), or Robin Hood (Don’t like Wearing Tights).  However, it is important to remember our childhood dreams and remember that God can redeem our past hopes and their innocence, but that is a blog that will come later.

When I was little I dreamed of playing in the major league  Unfortunately I didn’t even make it as far as Moonlight Graham, who played one game in the bigs, but didn’t even get to bat.  I retired after the 5th grade.  I’d had a great year at third base, but my team was downright awful.  Most of the kids didn’t have a passion for the game, they were just playing because their moms and dads wanted to watch them pick dandelions out in center field.

I played hard, but struggled with migraines the entire year.  When my school didn’t have baseball in the 6th grade I decided it best not to play, mostly because of my migraines.  My dream ended quietly, but I had school to distract me from the void not playing baseball.

I didn’t let myself stand in front of the mirror, but I moved on, and I’m glad I did.

In fact, I’d completely forgotten how passionately I dreamed of playing in the majors until I had my Field of Dreams moment.  Fortunately, unlike Adam Greenberg who was beaned in the head by the first pitch he faced in the majors, which ended his career, all I did was ride the pine in the Colorado Rockies’ dugout four hours before a game.

I was on a tour of the Coors Field for my job.  I’ve been working as a summer camp councilor with Ken-Caryl here in Littleton, Colorado.  I have a feeling none of the kids at my camp actually grasped how cool it was to sit where the likes of Todd Helton or Troy Tulowitzki have sat.  But as I sat down, as my butt touched the wooden bench, I felt transformed.  It was as if God was saying, “you might not have made it to the majors, but here’s a little taste of what it is like.”  It was awesome.

I didn’t think I would feel such a rush as I sat on the bench, but I did, guess that’s what dreams do to you.  I have been on the bench of a major league baseball team.  And even though I only sat for a couple minutes it was enough for me, I knew I couldn’t sit there for my entire life, holding onto the greatness of that moment.  Life had to move on, nor could I sit their dwelling on what could’ve been.  God has more for me than that.  And so, I stood up feeling fulfilled.

Adam Greenberg knows that life must move on.  After being hit by a pitch to the head, he was plagued by bad eyesight and dizzy spells, which negatively impacted his game.  Sadly he has never made it back to the majors, but he did get to face the pitcher again in a minor league game.  He came away with a hit in the at bat and he knows that’s good enough.  He can move on with his life.

I will never reach my dreams if I keep my head on my pillow.  I left Guatemala because, while I loved living there, God was giving me new dreams, like going back to school and being a part of a healthy church community.  Those things couldn’t happen if I stayed in Guatemala.  And right now, even as I dream about the country every night, my real life dreams can’t happen if I go back at this point of my life.  I have to let go a little, and live my life and trust that God wont let my true dreams end unresolved.

What are you dreaming of?  Are you living your life or are you stuck looking at the Mirror of Erised?

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One response to “Field of Dreams: My All Star Moment

  1. Georgie-ann

    Living rather close to NYC during my growing up and young adult years, I had plenty of available moments to be “up close and personal” with some highly energized people, places, and things. NYC is nothing, if not a very major and thriving energy vortex! So many things going on non-stop, ’round the clock, — (“the City never sleeps”) — and all kinds and varieties of peoples moving around, thrown together, all at once,… passing each other anonymously in the day,… some still passing in the night,… (Who ARE all these people and where are they/(we) all going???,… so much happens in each and every moment, that is impossible to know even the smallest fraction of it all,…) It is/was exciting to tread sidewalks and locations with such great fame and glory and history attached to them. It was also sad to see the simultaneous evidences of those who somehow got lost along the way, or never even found themselves, in the mix,… pulsations of life,… and dreams,… dreams that are being realized,… dreams that are dying, or have died,… successes,… compromises,… hopes?,… failures?,… some may seem to just be in a stupor, or on automatic pilot,… but it all keeps on happening, nonetheless,…

    One senses “greatness” in the air, the buildings, the highways, the fantastic bridges,… even very profound destiny,… but in the middle of all that perpetual motion, each one’s particular pathway is still very much like that of the faithful little worker ant, gathering daily that which is his or her own business or duty to perform,… family and friends, connecting and identifying personally with loved ones, being grounded in close and protective relationships, is more important than ever,… a miracle of peaceful co-existence may “happen”,… good things and good wishes are unspoken, but “oil the gears” of the importance of universal survival,… it can all become like a good dream — (on a good day!) — perhaps, under the watchful, protective eye of Someone/something Greater,… we live in an unspoken trust that there will be a tomorrow, and that our tomorrows will have meaning,…

    I still have family who are living pretty close to the hub of “where all the action is” going on, and so I am able to enjoy a “visit to the vortex” from time to time,… but truthfully, it’s become rather challenging to the aging nervous system, to deal with such intense and densely compressed “life” experiences,…

    I’m agreeing with you that there is something about “humanity” and “life” and our own personal lives and the way we live them, that calls us to positiveness and “greatness” and dreams,… I wouldn’t worry too much about how much of that “greatness” I can personally nail down for myself in particular,… We are as much each doing our own part to contribute something good to the whole, that will end up being synergistic-ly “greater than the sum of its parts”,… after all, our true greatness is in God, Himself, and comes from our essence (true being) within,…

    If I made the mistake of comparing “what I am able to do” with what others are obviously able to “do so much better”, I would immediately become inactive,… and the Bible tells us that this is not pleasing to God,… (in the Parable of the Talents, Matthew 25),… any little thing that we can contribute to the collective greatness, goodness, and encouragement of humanity is not wasted, and will grow and multiply to the effect of many peoples’ blessing,… just being a “good guy” with children — (which it seems you are quite GOOD at!) — is planting “good seeds” in their lives which can have very long term beneficial effects,… whether you will “see” them or not,…

    Job 8:7 “And though thy beginning was small, Yet thy latter end would greatly increase.”

    Ezekiel 36:11 ” … I will multiply upon you man and beast; and they shall increase and be fruitful; and I will cause you to be inhabited after your former estate, and will do better unto you than at your beginnings: and ye shall know that I am Jehovah.”

    Galatians 6:9 “And let us not be weary in well-doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”

    We see so much so-called (and exaggerated earthly) “greatness” promoted by MSM, TV, etc., that we can be left feeling pretty small and rather insignificant by comparison,… A human voice, enhanced by electronic microphone effects, quite easily outshines and overpowers the bare human equivalent,… (& I probably wouldn’t sing a solo in church without one!),… our simple humanness, weakness, and smallness embarrasses us, but it shouldn’t,… it should teach us about our compassionate bond with one another,… we are really more alike in these things than we are different,… I like to remind myself of all the “little people” (that many will “overlook”), who are doing so much of the daily work and grind and drudge, that keeps all of our lives going on smoothly and cleanly,… I often think that these “humble” people are God’s real heroes,… Jesus took on flesh, just like ours, to taste our weaknesses and vulnerability,… He knows,… He understands,… if we commit our ways to Him, He will lead us personally in the best ways,… both for Him and us,…

    Psalm 37:4-6
    4 “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart.

    5 “Commit your way to the Lord [roll and repose each care of your load on Him]; trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) also in Him and He will bring it to pass.

    6 “And He will make your uprightness and right standing with God go forth as the light, and your justice and right as [the shining sun of] the noonday.”

    Be not afraid. (I just looked that phrase up in Bible Gateway: what a Great study that is/would be!)

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