Sometimes my dreams have felt so real that when I wake up it’s been hard to distinguish between what was reality and what was dream land.
At times I’ve even wished that I could re-enter my dream to keep it going, preferring what was going on in my subconscious than facing reality when I wake up. But this dream land doesn’t only happen when I’m sleeping, but also when I’m fully awake.
As I look at the lives of others around me, scroll through social media, and watch TV, I begin to dream what it would be like if the lives of others became my own. Although in one sense it’s good to be inspired by those who have overcome the odds or are a few steps ‘ahead’ of us, there lurks a great danger in venturing too far into dream land.
Living our lives through the lives of others is not a new concept, as thousands of years ago God gave His people the command not to covet the lives of others:
“You must not covet your neighbor’s house. You must not covet your neighbor’s wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor” – Exodus 20:17
This word, ‘covet’ literally means, ‘to delight in’ or ‘to take pleasure in’. Rather than taking delighting in their own lives, the temptation was to value what other people had at the expense of being grateful and satisfied with their own. God wanted to safe guard His people from exiting their own reality and entering into the dream land of others.
Living in dream land is like being in prison. There is a never ending wheel of evaluation of our own lives in comparison with the lives of others, which results in either deep dissatisfaction if we don’t measure up, or pride if we feel ‘ahead’ of those we’ve compared ourselves to. The problem is that there are 8 billion people in the world that we’ve got to ‘measure’ ourselves up against, which makes for a life long prison sentence!
Rather than living in the prison of comparison, set yourself free to delight in your own life. Don’t live in dream land, but embrace the beauty and pain of reality. Be grateful for what you have, and live today.
Exit the dreams of others to live your own!