The idea of fantasy is interesting to me. The word itself holds a lot of intrigue, drawing me in like a moth to a flame. I’ve always thought of fantasies as escapes from the doldrums of ordinary life—things to distract me from particularly long and sleep-inducing activities. My mind is a wild place most of the time, and I can imagine some amazing circumstances for myself in daydreams. I’m excited by all the possibilities of what my life could be like; in fact, sometimes I am obsessed with them.
What’s wrong with this picture? I love thinking up adventures for myself. I love imagining myself as the person I want to be, imagining situations with the outcomes I want them to have, imagining problems solved the way I want them to be solved, imagining people acting the way I want them to act. The problem is that the world around me does not conform to my design. Living in my fantasies can easily persuade me that real life is not good enough or even worth living. I used to find it a daunting challenge to reconcile the way things really are with the way I want things to be. I’ve definitely become more realistic with years of practice, and I’d like to say I’ve mastered the quality of focusing on my present reality, but lately I’ve found myself drifting into daydreams just a bit too often.
God is always teaching me who I truly am. I used to think I was a dreamer, but now I know He has called me to be a doer. I do lots of things, from schoolwork to my job as a receptionist here at the Writing Center to the volunteer service I accomplish with my church. My daydreams don’t always coincide with the things I do in reality, and I’m still learning that that’s okay. Just because I fantasize about a day when I’ve already earned my degree and obtained a job in my field doesn’t mean I’m at that point in reality. On a more spectacular scale, just because I fantasize that I’m a crime-fighting superhero with the powers of flight and invisibility doesn’t mean that experience will occur in my real life.
The concept I’m trying to focus on these days is that, even though not all of my fantasies are destined to come true, my actual life is an amazing adventure. It’s so much better than my fantasies because it’s real! Of course, some of my dreams are worth seeking, but many of my favorite experiences are things I never imagined would happen to me. Like my dad always tells me, “Wherever you go, there you are.” It sounds ridiculous, but it reminds me that focusing on my present circumstances and work rather than wishing I was in a different situation is so much more effective in the way of doing the good works God has prepared for me (Ephesians 2:10). It’s important for me to train my heart to be content and have the joy of the Lord in all situations (Philippians 4:12). Keeping my heart rooted in this truth allows me to pour my heart into the things I do in real life—my schoolwork, job at the UWC, and service with my church—and to do all those things to the best of my ability (Colossians 3:23). I can thoroughly enjoy everything I do and grow as much as possible with every new experience.
There’s nothing wrong with fantasies. They are a great place for my mind to rest when I’m going through a rough time and need to keep in mind the good things that God has for my future. Imagining those things, hoping for them, and knowing that God keeps all His promises to me are all acts of my faith (Hebrews 11:1). There is, however, a difference between walking in faith that God has wonderful things in store for me and living in a daydream where I can’t do any of the good works He’s laid out in my present. I am so grateful that I have a great, good heavenly Father to keep me grounded so that I don’t miss out on my awesome reality.
Written by Becca