Langston Hughes once penned a profound question in his poem, Dream Deferred:
“What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
Like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?”
As a child, when I was made to memorize this poem, I can admit I did not see the point. At seven, I really had not seen too many deferred dreams beyond, not being able to go to Chuck E. Cheese or ride my bike past dusk. I did not have the experience to blend with the knowledge imparted in the lines of this short prose. Now, as an adult, these same words have a very different significance.
By the time one reaches adulthood, if we are honest, we have experienced at least one deferred dream. How many times have you listened to people who planned their lives down to the year only to find that an event, rather triumphant or tragic, has changed their plans forever? Anything from a major illness, a promotion on your job that required you to relocate, to a baby you had not planned can cause a dream to be deferred.
I believe that Hughes is encouraging the reader not to focus on stopping dreams from being deferred but rather realizing that the response to the dream being deferred is squarely the responsibility of the dreamer. How you and I respond to difficult times is our responsibility.
Some people toss and turn and lose sleep trying to solve the problems of the world, while others seek to find comfort in drinking, drugs, sex or excess food. Ultimately, each of us has to learn to turn to the Comforter in order to strengthen us and help us to have a winning attitude even when it seems as though we are losing.
If you are going through a struggle, you are not alone! Job was a righteous man who loved God, his wife and his family and still suffered major calamity. Although most sermons focus on either the calamity or the restoration, the bulk of the chapters in Job deal with his response emotionally, physically, spiritually and psychologically to the difficulties he faced. Although filled with hills and valleys the reality was that Job finally came to a place of resolution and peace.
This week, find your place of peace with the Lord. Make the choice to rest in God rather than to fight against His divine will for your life. Many times we can not control what happens but we can control our response to the situation. The choice is you