Sunday, November 17, 2013

A tribute to Lennon (and all the dreamers)

You may say that I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one
I hope some day you'll join us, and the world will live as one
-John Lennon, Imagine

Above my bed hangs a large picture of the John Lennon Memorial that sits in Central Park (pictured below). The stone homage is a large reminder of the message of peace that Lennon wrote into one of his most famous pieces. It drives my mother (and many other people) a little crazy, because the song, in an attempt to draw a picture of a new world, suggests imagining that there is no God and no religion as one of the ways to abolish conflict and separation. 

I do not, as you probably anticipated, want to imagine a world where there is no God, nor do I believe that such a world would be a peaceful place. However, Lennon's refrain strikes something deeply in me. When all the world dreams together, we can start to make a difference. 

I am a dreamer. The worst kind of dreamer. I can zone out in the middle of almost any setting and start re-writing the human story in my head. I can imagine rallies against hatred, and small gestures changing the course of a life. I mentally construct scenarios in which something fantastic happens as a result of the inconsequential details of life. And I long for these things to happen on the day-to-day. 

But the execution is a struggle. 

People are a bit narrow-minded by nature. We have this idea of how the world works, and we cannot imagine the greatness or the vastness it truly entails. We worry about little changes- small term things that won't affect the end of our story greatly- on a daily basis. When we think of big change, or of impacting people on a grand scale, it makes us queasy. When we have an idea that we think might be earth shattering, we are frustrated that other's are not already on the same page with us. We don't see ourselves as the catalysts of major twists in the story, and often, when we can see it, it depresses us. 

When it becomes my turn to stand up for something I believe in, or something that I believe is important, I want to be ready, to be willing, and to be able to go without regard for cost or outcome.. I want to be the kind of person who contributes to something huge- I don't really have a desire to be remembered, but I want to be part of a movement that goes down in history. 

I want to be the kind of person who lives as big as I dream. 

Recently I attended a messianic non-ference called "Grassroots." It is the love child of like minded people who want to see what God can do when they put aside their differences and just spend time together. Being there was a beautiful experience for me, not just because of what was said by the speakers or the time spent worshiping together, but because there was a grand sense of belonging that came from sharing hearts. I sat with a woman named Dorothy (read what she writes here) who told me how she was learning to listen, and it struck me that others might be learning the same lessons that I am. The dream that Grassroots embodied became a reality for me in that moment. We covered a lot of ground over dinner, from how to serve people properly to how to live each day. And something about just finding our similarities connected us. 

Maybe you are dreaming of something on a grand scale. Maybe you share my picture of a worldwide movement of peace, harmony, and truth. (And love- for me, it's always love). Or maybe you are dreaming of something smaller; a kind of life you want to live, a relationship you want to have, an accomplishment that you want to see. Whatever it is, I believe we are all dreamers, waiting on the hope of something that we have not yet seen happen. Which is also, incidentally, the definition of faith.

"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1

Be faithful. Keep dreaming. Let's get a little closer to creating something new.

Strawberry Fields, Central Park- The John Lennon memorial

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