Have you ever had the strange experience of working really hard towards a particular goal in order to achieve a certain outcome or obtain a certain prize, only to discover that upon receiving the fruit of your labor, you weren’t quite sure how to handle it or what to do next?
Have you ever been surprised to discover that when a dream you’ve held dear for so long finally comes true, you aren’t necessarily feeling a sense of happy-go-lucky bliss so much as you are experiencing a heavy weight of serious responsibility?
Well, both have happened to me lately. And I’m learning a lot about how to steward God’s blessings in the process. I’m also learning how to find acceptance and peace in areas where my instinctual fear of failure might otherwise cripple my sound judgement and enjoyment of the moment.
Getting married is no small feat. And I’m not talking about planning a ceremony; I’m talking about planning a life together. I dreamed for so long of finding a wife — a beautiful woman of God that He had prepared for me. Then when I believed I had found such a woman, I dreamed that she would come to love me deeply and one day embrace me as her husband. The funny things about daydreams are that they float around in the air, so to speak, and are easy to push aside and return to at will. They are real in one sense, because the choices we make and the prayers we offer to the Lord are affected by our dreams, but they are ungrounded. Their roots are shallow.
When a dream becomes reality, it is no longer a future aspiration. It is HERE and NOW. It is in front of your very eyes. You are responsible for it. You have a mandate to take care of it — to steward it, to protect it, to nurture it, to water and fertilize it and make it grow. You don’t have an excuse. You can’t say you’re not ready yet. You can’t say you’re not experienced enough or wise enough. You can’t delay it. You can’t put it on a shelf and come back to it at a later time. Your dream came true, Mister. Your long-held desires were just fulfilled, Sister. The ball’s in your court now. Are you going to “man up”, take a deep breath, and play your hand, or are you going to chicken out and blow the whole deal?
Don’t worry, I have no intention of going anywhere. I am so happy right now. I am crazy excited about the next few months. Rosemary and I are having a wonderful time! Yet, even in the midst of all the joy and festivities, there is a weight that I feel, and I can’t shake it. I am now responsible for another human being’s life, a person I care deeply about. She has placed all of her trust in my hands. The strange thing is, I’m the one who asked her to do it, and now that she has, I’m praying to God I don’t do anything stupid to betray her trust.
I want to be a good steward. And I think I’ll be OK as long as I put my faith in the Good Shepherd. He’s better at this than I am. I know I’ll have all the help I need to make it through.