Those two amusement parks earn their big, big dollars with the concept of making dreams come true. Where else would you find the castle that inhabits every little girl's dreams and the spaceships that fly little boys into space? Where else can you see ghosts and not be harmed, fly in a magic car, and wander around a treehouse for castaways that has all the comforts of home? "If you can dream it," Walt Disney famously said, "you can do it." And everyone has heard Jiminy Cricket advise us that "If you keep on believing, the dream that you wish can come true." Maybe it depends upon what you are dreaming about.
We have done a lot of babysitting for the grandchildren over the years. The spring Judah was twenty months old, we kept them for a week. Every evening he climbed into my lap as I drank my last cup of coffee. It took me a minute to figure it out the first time his little hand reached out into the air. Finally I realized he was trying to catch the steam wafting over my mug, and was completely mystified when it disappeared between his little fingers.
A lot of people spend their lives trying to catch the steam, vapors that seem solid but disintegrate in their grasping hands. They do it in all sorts of ways, and all of them are useless.
Do they really think they can stop time? Over 11,000,000 surgical and nonsurgical cosmetic procedures were performed in this country in 2013, and we aren’t talking medically necessary procedures. The top five were liposuctions, breast augmentations, eyelid surgeries, tummy tucks, and nose surgeries.* I doubt the number has decreased any.
Then there are the folks chasing wealth and security. Didn’t the recent Great Recession, as it is now called, and the economic problems of 2020 teach them anything?
Others are striving to make a name for themselves. These are usually the same folks who tell Christians how pathetic we are to believe that some Higher Power would ever notice we even exist on this puny blue dot in the universe. Yet there they all go, looking for fame, fortune, notoriety, beauty, or even their version of eternal life. All of it is nothing more than a dream. It will disappear, if not in a natural disaster or an economic meltdown, then the day they die—and they will die no matter how hard they try not to. They are the ones grasping at dreams which are only a vapor that disappears in a flash.
Our dream isn’t a dream at all. It is a hope, which in the Biblical sense means it is all but realized. Sin and death have been conquered by a force we can only try to comprehend, by a love we can never repay, and by a will we can but do our best to imitate. Yet there it is, not a wisp of white floating over a warm porcelain mug, but a solid foundation upon which we base our faith. Heb 6:19 calls it “an anchor.” Have you ever seen a real anchor? If there is anything the opposite of a wisp of steam, that’s it—solid and strong, able to hold us steady in the worst winds of life. Tell me how a pert nose and a full bank account can do that!
It's time to leave the amusement parks and the words of cartoon characters. The world thinks it knows what is real while we sit like a toddler grasping at steam. When eternity comes, they will finally see that they are wrong. Spiritual things are the only things that last, the only real things at all.
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal, 2 Cor 4:6-8.
*Information from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery