When Our Dreams Don't Come True
by Bryan J. Neva, Sr.
"Other people's interests will prosper, but your own will not succeed. Others will be listened to, but people will pay no attention to what you say. Others will ask and shall receive, but your requests will be refused. Often people will say nice things about others, but never a good word about you. Others will be promoted to positions of trust, but you will be judged unfit."
- The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis (pub cir 1418, Book 3, Chapter 49)
When we're young, most of us hope and pray that our dreams will come true, but when we're old, most of us lament over our unfulfilled hopes and dreams. We can't understand why life dealt us a such a poor hand to play, or why God said, "No!" to so many of our prayers. Despite our best efforts to be good and diligent, we just can't comprehend why some people succeed and we don't, or why some people are blessed with wealth and honor and we're not? We just don't understand why life's so unfair?
But here are some things to consider: maybe God is trying to prepare us for eternal life with Him in heaven? When He says, "No!", maybe He's trying to help us learn humility and grow in virtue? Maybe all of life is a trial by fire, a form of purgatory, or a time of testing and probation? Maybe God is trying to change us into better people: people who sincerely want God's dreams fulfilled rather than our own dreams to come true? Maybe this is not our permanent home; maybe we're just passing through on our way to the Kingdom of God?
So for those of us who are trying to enter The Kingdom of God, strive to act humbly toward others, and don't pay attention to what others do or say; don't worry if others are praised and exalted and we're not; don't worry if our dreams don't come true; just accept it with good grace and bless others. During our lives, let's be content with what pleases God and brings honor to Him, so that, whether in life or in death, God may be always glorified in us.