Renaissance Man

Yesterday, I took Leah to the Renaissance Festival. She loves it and goes almost every year, sometimes twice. She’s made her own costumes for it and this year even made a custom piece of jewelry to wear. She’ll gladly look in nearly all the shops, handling mugs, silks, leather pouches, and intricately carved chess set pieces with equal delight (though she does have a special delight in the very fancy hand-made dresses). For me, it’s something interesting and out-of-the-ordinary; for her, it’s an escape into a fantasy realm of lords and ladies, wizards and dragons, magic and chivalry, and, of course, those lovely British accents.

Having an escape from time to time can help us cope with the trials and stresses of life. It’s harmless for Leah to go to these events or get lost in the fantasy world of Dr. Who episodes or a good book. Some people, however, spend more time in their fantasy world than is healthy. This could be manifested in movies, books, and events, or it could be in gaming addictions, drugs, or just daydreaming.

There are a couple reasons people get lost in these worlds. The first is that, while they want what their daydreams promise, they are too lazy to go get it. There is, of course, a limit as to how much you are capable of doing; try as you might, you won’t find a dragon’s egg or gain superpowers. Yet many people dream of being rich or being in a relationship so often that their efforts are in the dream rather than in making it possible.

The other reason is because they don’t believe their dreams are possible. Many people lack confidence in their abilities to make their dreams come true. As I said above, there are limits, but if your dreams are reasonable, then achieving them depends on a few things: 1. Your effort, 2. Whether God is with you (Psalm 127:1), and 3. Your faith. That last one includes your faith in yourself.

I must note here that I am most emphatically NOT saying your confidence is the key to or is validated by your success. Your self-confidence simply means you know where your value comes from, nothing more. It means you know it doesn’t come from being wealthy or married or successful or looking good. That doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t have these things. 

Proverbs has many verses that say that a hard-working man will be rich, but a lazy man will become poor. In other words, you get out of your work what you put into it. If you pour your heart and soul into something, failure is unlikely unless there are circumstances that are out of your control that prevent success (such as being 5’6″ with a bum knee and desiring to play in the NBA).

If you want something, and your desire is not against God’s will for your life, go for it with all your heart. Whether it’s getting that novel written and published, finding your dream job, getting married, or finally getting in shape, go for it. Just know that whether you succeed or fail, your value is still the same as it is right now, the same as it always will be, and higher than any amount of success could ever earn.

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