The 1965 Academy Award-winning musical, The Sound of Music, serves as a modern parable for creators and dreamers. In the movie, the Mother Superior at an Austrian abbey wisely advises Maria, a rambunctious novice who doesn’t appear to be cut out for service in a convent, to explore other vocations and avenues of interest, to best determine the destiny God has planned for her. In a beautiful song, the Mother Superior tells Maria to “Climb every mountain, Search high and low; Follow every byway, Every path you know. Ford every stream, Follow every rainbow, ‘Till you find your dream.” This is good advice for anyone, but especially for all dreamers and creators. Last session we looked at rainbows. Today we’ll discuss “Till you find your dream.”
You may recall that Maria thought she wanted to be a nun. But when she began to realize that her destiny might lay elsewhere, outside of the convent, the young novice needed to make some hard decisions. So Maria took the steps necessary for anyone at a crossroads in life: she spent lots of time in time in prayer, consulted the Bible, sought Godly counsel, and did a tremendous amount of soul-searching. Once Maria has done all this, she is in total peace. She has finally found how best to use her gifts and talents to serve her Lord — her true purpose in life — and she’s now at center of God’s will.
Maria realized that being a supportive wife and a good mother is a great calling in itself, one which God has planned and designed her for. As with many pursuits, it is a way to make a difference, and therefore is just as important as being a nun. Now, we’re not minimizing the commitment and sacrifices made by those who go into religious service and life. We simply want to point out that one can serve God and make incredible contributions in life outside of the four walls of our faith communities.
Furthermore, let us stress that although marriage is rarely mentioned when discussing dreams, visions, and creative endeavors, it is indeed a holy charge; one in which a dreamer can find great significance. Truth is, whenever people gather to discuss their goals, their achievements, and their plans for accomplishing “great things” in life, it tends to be all the usual stuff of dreams: becoming a writer, a singer, an actor — or simply rich and famous.
Within Christian circles, many people dream of going into some form of ministry, becoming a pastor, priest, rabbi, evangelist, missionary, Bible teacher, or music minister. These steadfast believers want to build churches, schools, or orphanages. They want to start soup kitchens, feed and clothe the poor and needy — all of which are worthwhile ways to serve God and do His will. But again, plans for marriage and growing a healthy and happy family are usually the last items on their list of Godly goals.
God wants us to have at least two things at the top of our “to-do” list: first and foremost, to OBEY Him; and, regardless of how we plan to approach it, to fulfill “the Great Commission.” (Mark 16:15; Matthew 28:19-20) But God’s list certainly makes room (and includes) building relationships and strengthening families. After all, our Heavenly Father is the One who instituted marriage to begin with. In fact, it was the first institution He ever created. (Genesis 1:27-28; 2:18, 24-25)
We address this because having a successful marriage and raising well-adjusted children is quite an accomplishment; one that should rank high on the list of great achievements. Also, we were reminded recently by one of Wilma’s former high school students that, for her and many others, getting married and having children — and living “happily ever after” — is one of their greatest dreams.
Now before anyone discounts this worthy goal, assuming that such people lack vision or talent or imagination, we’d like to state that this minor revelation came from an intelligent, sophisticated and attractive young woman; a talented and imaginative millennial, who benefitted from a solid Christian upbringing by deeply committed parents in an upper-middle class home. She’s also a college graduate from a prestigious university. In other words, she’s well-rounded, well-adjusted, and has plenty of resources. She, and countless others like her, who often won’t openly share their traditional values and deepest convictions in today’s climate of political correctness, can hardly be categorized as lacking vision or opportunity. For these men and women, strong marriages and healthy families are worthwhile goals in the pursuit of an awesome and Godly dream!
By the way, it’s refreshing to see millennial embracing Biblical concepts and traditional values. Our younger generations have so much potential, which is why it’s important not to write them off. Instead, love and pray for them, and get involved in their lives. (But DON’T preach to them! The best way to get through to anyone is by “modeling Christ” and hence setting a good example.) Jesus said, “When I am lifted up … I will draw everyone to Me.” (John 12:32 EXB)
So, “climb every mountain … follow every rainbow … till you find your dream.” And if your dream is to find your soulmate and “live happily ever after,” then by all means do so. Never think that your special dream — whatever it may be — is lesser than someone else’s.