I'm recently went down to Worcester and stayed with Mark's family for a few days, getting tremendously well fed and enjoying english sunshine (which seemed to be a little bit warmer than the scottish variety! One learns interesting things about one's future other half when talking to one's future in-laws: anecdotes about their childhood, silly habits they used to have, games they used to play etc. Mark and one of his brothers used to have "thinkaboutthings" which apparently consisted of, surprise surprise, thinking about things - imagining themselves in situations, which apparently they would think about just before bedtime and report to one another in the morning. One of Mark's favourite thinkaboutthings involved running a nature reserve which even had a nettle patch for butterflies and where he employed his brother and his 12 (!!) children. Needless to say none of this seems to be in the pipeline or even in his dreams anymore...
Funny how our dreams change drastically. We dream a lot as children about the huge ways that we're going to leave our impression on the world. I was going to be a scientist, a detective, a forensic psychologist, a barrister, but my favourite and most persistent dream was that I was going to be a published novelist who single-handedly transformed the thinking of millions of people around the world. Now I'm happy enough if a handful people read my blog once in a while! Most of us have fairly big childhood dreams, but somewhere along the line, most of us slip into ordinary contented existences, or we realise that our dreams weren't quite a realistic as we'd originally thought or it'd take us being more brilliant or self-disciplined then we are in fact as adults. We don't quite become the people we wanted to be and so we can't quite achieve the dreams we'd wanted to achieve.
Actually for me it wasn't so much that as the more I experienced, the more the shape of my dreams changed. I stopped writing stories after I went to uni because I stopped enjoying pretending to be someone else and now I struggle to write about anything other than my own experiences. I still want to change peoples' lives but I'd be extremely happy if I have an effect on the people I meet on a day to day basis in small ways. I think the shape of my dreams changed because the bigger I grew, the smaller I realised I was. And yet at the same time, the bigger I grow, the bigger I realise God is, the greater is love, mercy, compassion, the more I realise he cares about the vulnerable, the downtrodden, the outcasts in society... Reminds me of that bit in Prince Caspian when Lucy encounters Aslan again in person for the first time since "The Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe".
"Aslan," said Lucy, "you're bigger."
"That is because you are older, little one," answered he.
"Not because you are?"
"I am not. But every year you grow, you will find me bigger."
I think I'm even less sure of what I "want to do when I grow up" now that I have actually "grown up" than I did even when I was at uni! But I'd like to try and see things more through "God perspective" lenses and do what I can to live like Jesus and further His kingdom where broken lives get fixed.