It has only been a few months since “Graduation Season.” Which, by the way, is neither a climate or hunting designation (bag a few graduates and everyone gets all huffy). As a
glutton for punishment seemingly perpetual student, I’ve sat through too many graduation speeches. The best are funny (e.g., Coco, John Stewart, or this guy) and the worst are freakishly dishonest.
Usually, some numskull will pander on and on about “chasing your dreams.” Despite the ridiculousness of such an assertion, it plays well to the sentimental and naïve among us. My basic problem with this sort of advice is twofold: it is both unrealistic and unbiblical.
No matter how passionately R. Kelly croons, the assertion that seeing and believing equips one to “do it” is ridiculous. No matter my belief, I cannot (as space Jam indicates) dunk a basketball. Faith is not blind and unrealistic: faith has truth at its core. Some people won’t be astronauts. Why do we insist on pretending that everyone is equally intelligent, capable, and able. Certainly, God uses the weakest among us but strength in weakness requires humility and honest appraisal of shortcomings.
Finally, and more importantly, such blind and self-centered optimism is unbiblical. The purpose in life is not about chasing your own dreams. As I told some graduates in June, “life is not about pursuing your dreams, it is about pursuing God.” Don’t chase what you want, chase what God wants for you. As you grow in Christ, your desires will begin to align with his. You will never find satisfaction in pursuing your narcissistic passions; only in Christ will your satisfaction be made complete. As Chris Wright has reminded us, stop trying to fit God into your life but, rather, ask where your life fits into God’s story and God’s mission. Don’t waste your time applying the Bible to your life but, rather, conform your life to the Bible.
Don’t chase your dreams, chase your creator. He has prepared a path for you to walk that is more glorious and satisfying than you could dream on your own.