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Finding Contentment While Dreaming of the Future

My book giveaway is still going on today. More info here.

Some words for Ash Wednesday

My brother is a freshman in college with aspirations of getting into law school, and ultimately becoming a lawyer who, “makes lots of money,” as he says. While he was home over Christmas break I made sure to inform him that he should probably just focus on his classes in the upcoming semester.

At the time I laughed at him for his lack of contentment and willingness to focus on the present to instead dream by for the future.

In all honesty I’m far worse.

In my own mind the present is never satisfying enough. I convince myself that I need a few more things to fall into place before I can be content with life.

Every January Rose and I try to get away for a few days to celebrate our anniversary and to start the year ahead with a fresh perspective. I try to use the time away to dream about what the next 350+ days have the possibility for.

In dreaming for the future I struggle to find peace and contentment with the present.

How is it that we can have big aspirations further down the road and still cling the importance of right now?

On our most recent January trip I read a book that encouraged the reader to stand out in order to create a future where they were indispensable. The book had a lot of great things to say, but in light of my lack of contentment I found myself wondering, is this helping me be at peace?

Today’s culture is very much focused on instant gratification, but when it isn’t the focus shifts to robbing the present to focus on the future. Neither of these options is the best one.

How do you connect the dreams of the future with the reality of the present?

I think the answer is space.

Giving space for the dreams to flow and giving space for the present to remain in front of you.

The past few weeks I’ve been 5 minutes at the beginning of my day in complete silence.

Not prayer. Not reading. Not trying to think through any specific thing. Just silence.

The weight of the silence takes a few minutes to dissipate and soon enough, I can enter into the present day singularly focused on it.

Dreams have a place in life, but they should never replace the reality of the present. (Tweet this?)

Your dreams can inform the present, but they cannot replace them or you will ultimately get lost. Give yourself the space needed for reality to sink in.

The best dreams get lived in the present anyway.

This post was inspired by the Luminous Project. Luminous is a creative spiritual event in Nashville May 1-3, 2013. To find out more, check out luminousproject.com. You can use the promo code ‘BRINGitHERE‘ to get 35% off the registration price.

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