Hopes and Dreams. We all have them. We all aspire to be someone, to be rich and famous and have a big house and a fancy car. A job that pays a lot of money seems to be a common need and the latest gadgets are also popular wants.
We all want what is best for ourselves, and sometimes we overlook everyone around us. Sometimes our big dreams of becoming the next millionaire consume us so much that we forget our friends who are struggling to pay their bills every month. In other words: we are only caring about ourselves.
My word for thought this time is to look outside of yourself. Take a look at the bigger picture. I want you to begin to realize how small and meaningless your life looks compared to the rest of the world. You are just one out of more than six billion people living on this planet. Yet you have the audacity to think that you can become successful and become famous?
You need to realize that it’s not all about you. There are other people living and struggling just like you, and it is part of your duty as a human being to interact with them. Jesus said that the greatest Commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself. When I say neighbor, I don’t just mean the people that live next door to you. I’m talking about everyone in this world that we have to live in harmony with. Loving your neighbor as yourself means putting away your wants and needs, your hopes and dreams, and serving others. It means placing others before yourself and letting them get the better end of the deal.
Now I know this doesn’t sound very appealing. But believe me, it is satisfying in the end. To me, there is something so gratifying about being humble and knowing that you just helped someone in need. You gave up your seat so that an old woman could sit down. You let your younger brother have the last bagel because you love him. Things like these exemplify what Jesus was trying to emphasize to us when he called this the greatest Commandment.
Some of you may be thinking, but what about my hopes and dreams? Do I have to put others before those, too? This is an extremely difficult question to answer, but I think in some situations, the answer may be “yes”. Sometimes sick family members have to have higher priority over your job or school. Sometimes God closes a dream opportunity to tell you that you need to be helping others instead or doing something else for His glory. Other times, the answer can be “no”. Maybe our ambitions coincide with God’s plan for our life and suddenly our dreams of becoming a famous writer are fulfilled and we have success. Whatever the case, know that God does have a plan for your life, and He will work it out, whether it’s the plan you want or not.
I’m not telling you to give up your hopes and dreams, but I just want you to take some of the focus off of yourself and become more aware of the people around you. Someone could be hurting on the inside and you wouldn’t even know because you are way too busy making everything right for you. So take time out of your selfish schedule and make time for your friends, family, and co-workers. Connect with them. Love them. And most importantly, be humble and put them before yourself.