Life after realizing your dream

Everyone has dreams. Some of our dreams are more difficult to accomplish than others, but everyone has something they want to see happen in their lives. Maybe it’s a kid growing up. Maybe it’s having kids to begin with. Maybe it’s getting married. Maybe it has nothing to do with relationships and is all about success in business or a business-related subject. No matter what our goal is, everyone has them, but the fact is that not everyone will see their dreams come true. That’s just the way life works sometimes.

But for some people, we will see our dreams become reality. But what happens after that?

Today’s passage is Luke 2:28-32.

28Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying, 29 “Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace,
      as you have promised.
 30 I have seen your salvation,
    31 which you have prepared for all people.
 32 He is a light to reveal God to the nations,
      and he is the glory of your people Israel!”Okay. We need to back up. Because this passage starting in verse 28 makes precious little sense until you understand who Simeon is. Let’s start in verse 25 and read through 27 for the background. 25 At that time there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. He was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel. The Holy Spirit was upon him 26 and had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 That day the Spirit led him to the Temple. So when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the law required, Simeon was there.

So this is Simeon. He’s a man in Jerusalem, not necessarily a priest. I can’t remember. But either way, the Bible says the Holy Spirit was on him. God had revealed to this man, Simeon, that he would see the Messiah before he died.

Put yourself in Simeon’s shoes for a while. I don’t know how old he was. He might have been ancient. He might have been middle aged. But he was “eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel.” This was his dream. Simeon dreamed that God would rescue his people.

He’d been living for this dream for a long time. Remember, at this time, Israel was in captivity to Rome. They had been in captivity for hundreds and hundreds of years. And God had been silent for 500 of those years.

So what do you think Simeon felt when he saw Jesus?

I have a lot of dreams personally, but only a few really major ones. And I remember when one of them came true. I remember the shock. I had been living for that moment for nearly my whole conscious life and when it happened, I almost didn’t believe it. But when I realized that it really had happened, I just started crying.

Isn’t that a strange way to react?

Dreams are tricky things. Because they can help us stay on target. They can help us stay focused on a specific goal. But what happens after they come true?

What happened to Simeon after he saw the Messiah? Well, I don’t know. There’s nothing else about him after this. Maybe he died.

But when we achieve a dream, many people stop trying. They see that they’ve done what they’d set out to do, and then they just coast through the rest of their life. And I don’t want to be like that.

Personally, I think that all of our dreams are connected. And when you achieve one, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve achieved everything. All of us are part of one big story, after all. And when we achieve one goal, it affects the people around us. One dream opens the door to a bigger dream. So there’s really no point in stopping or letting down or giving up. There’s still more to do. There’s always more to do.

You see, I don’t know what Simeon did after he saw the Messiah, but I know how his dream affected someone close to him. Because there was a woman in the temple the same day Simeon was. Her name was Ana, and this is what the Bible has to say about her:

36 Anna, a prophet, was also there in the Temple. She was the daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher, and she was very old. Her husband died when they had been married only seven years. 37 Then she lived as a widow to the age of eighty-four.[c] She never left the Temple but stayed there day and night, worshiping God with fasting and prayer. 38 She came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph, and she began praising God. She talked about the child to everyone who had been waiting expectantly for God to rescue Jerusalem.

The end of Simeon’s dream became the beginning of someone else’s. Ana went out and told people that the Messiah had come.

And I guess that’s my point today. Dreams don’t really end. And even after you see your dream realized, that doesn’t mean it’s time to stop dreaming. And besides, you have no idea how big your dream might get. Just because you’ve seen part of it accomplished doesn’t mean it’s achieved as much as it can.

So if you have a dream, and you’ve seen it come true, don’t stop pursuing it. And if you have a dream and you’re still waiting (and waiting and waiting and waiting), don’t give up.