This Has Been a Drill! (Diet for Dreamers)

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There’s an old science fiction movie starring George Reeves, titled Superman and the Mole-Men, made in 1951. (Yes, we know! For many of our younger readers, such a distant time constitutes the Dark Ages!) The movie was later edited to create a two-part episode of the first “watercolor show,” The Adventures of Superman — a series which actually prompted hundreds of households to finally buy one of those newfangled boxes that piped “live” entertainment into American living rooms during the Golden Age of Television

In the movie (and/or two-part episode), newspaper reporters Clark Kent and Lois Lane cover the story of the world’s deepest oil well, a venture that required months of drilling and patience, not to mention several damaged and discarded drill bits. Finally, at a depth of nearly six miles, the oil company broke through the last barrier of rock, only to discover the earth is hollow and its interior inhabited by … well, you can imagine.

Life is not like a Superman adventure. But pursuing a dream is a lot like drilling for oil! Companies hoping to “strike it rich” must first find a location suitable for drilling; an area that shows potential. The same can be said of dreams. The first step to achieving a goal or realizing a dream, is discerning precisely what we’re “called” to do. It involves accessing our strengths and talents, evaluating opportunities, and finding the proper venue for our work — and even the right geographic location.

“Does your mother know you boys are out after dark?”

Oil companies rely on geological studies to determine where to drill. We can rely on the Word of God and the guidance of His Holy Spirit, “who leads [us] into all truth.” (John 14:17 NLT) And, just as an oil company may realize it needs to drill in another spot, dreamers sometimes need to relocate — and often reevaluate what they’re pursuing or how they’re pursuing it.

Usually, however, an oil drilling outfit knows it’s where it needs to be, but understands the process is long and involved. THEY KEEP DRILLING! And those who dream big must continue to pursue their goals. Drilling for “black gold” requires steady work and perseverance. So does pursuing a dream.

Supes makes sure the mole-men make it back safely to their home at the center of the earth, via the abandoned oil well.

An oil company continues to go deeper. We dreamers, knowing that success in any venture requires patience and fortitude, would do well to go deeper into our faith. Closer to God equates to more “strength for the journey” (the pursuit of the dream).

As an oil drill burrows ever deeper into the earth, it frequently meets with resistance. It will encounter layers of nearly impenetrable rock. But the drill continues to work — and advance. Its progress slows. Ultimately, though, it breaks through! Similarly, we all encounter resistance in life; regardless of the endeavor, we periodically “hit” a brick wall, a trial or an obstacle. We need to keep drilling! If we do, we’ll eventually receive our “break through”!

In Superman and the Mole Men, persistent drilling unearthed a civilization of hairy little creatures played by midgets in bad makeup — but at least they were peace-loving souls! That’s okay, because life is not a movie. Keep drilling at your goals, go deeper, and persistently pursue your dreams. Your perseverance — especially when guided by God — will eventually be rewarded! “Staying with it—that’s what God requires. Stay with it to the end. You won’t be sorry….” (Matthew 24:13-14 MSG)

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The Perilous P-Word! (Diet for Dreamers)

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We seldom consider all of its potential consequences, and yet, it’s a bad habit that frequently results in loss and regret. In certain areas of life it’s considered socially unacceptable behavior. The Bible admonishes us to avoid it, because it has the ability to ruin relationships, destroy career opportunities, and rob us of success. In fact, it’s the silent killer of dreams. Were the Surgeon General to issue a statement regarding this habit, it would read “Warning: _________ may be hazardous to your goals.”

What are we hinting at? Something we intended to discuss before, but which, for various reasons (excuses?), we put on a back burner. Shall we explore this bad habit now … or perhaps wait for a better time? Later? Or now? Or should we just think about it for awhile? Maybe even sleep on it.

We won’t make you wait. The horrible habit we’re alluding to, the thief of dreams, is … and we can hardly bring ourselves to type it … the ugly P-word … PRocRAsTiNAtIOn!!

In his novel David Copperfield, Charles Dickens wrote, “Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” But the habit of procrastinating can rob us of far more than our time. True, when we put things off, we’re gambling with life’s greatest commodity, time — the “currency of dreams” — but the worst aspect of procrastination is often the unforeseen consequences of our actions … er, inactions.

When we have lots to accomplish or deadlines to meet, putting things off till tomorrow can result in last minute mad dashes to finish projects, needless stress, poor quality in our work, and sometimes the complete failure to get the job done. In Strategies for Success in Career Development (2007), Karen Lamb writes, “A year from now you may wish you had started today.”

People procrastinate for a variety of reasons: to indulge in laziness; to avoid a difficult task; or simply because they’re counting on having more time. Regarding the last reason, time has an uncanny way of running out on us, and “life” often interferes with our best laid plans. You’d think we’d have learned our lesson in high school. Remember those late Sunday nights spent cramming for an exam? Nevertheless, people have a natural tendency to postpone — even the inevitable. Some even joke, “Never do today what you can put off till tomorrow.”

Scooby Doo: “Mystery? Ret’s rolve it rater.”

Tomorrow, by its very definition, never comes. To quote song lyrics from the Musical Annie, it’s “always a day away.” At some point, though, we do reach the end of the line. We look back on the goals we failed to achieve, the unfulfilled dreams, the still broken relationships we intended to mend. We say things like: “I was planning to visit…”; or “I was going to make more time for….”; or “I intended to take care of that….” But planning and intending to do something only count as excuses. We’ve all heard the expression, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

Like any bad habit, putting things off only leads to further procrastination. And, like any bad habit, procrastination can destroy relationships. That’s why God admonishes us NOT to put off resolving disagreements or making restitution. Ephesians 4:26 states, “Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry….” (NLT)  In other words, don’t put off addressing an issue or repairing a relationship until tomorrow, because tomorrow might never come.

Abraham Lincoln wrote, “You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.” Do you have a goal to achieve, a task to perform, a relationship to mend, or a problem to address? Start now. Do you want to pursue a dream? Start today. Don’t let the bad habit of procrastination steal your time and opportunities. Your future — and all your tomorrows — begin today. So don’t  delay.

“Indeed, the ‘right time’ is now. Today is the day of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 6:2 NLT)

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