The Cost of a Dream

When the pain of dreams unfulfilled finally exceeds the growl of our fears . . .

Dreams are among the most powerful resources humans possess. Great leaders often carry big dreams. Such dreamers have altered world history, transformed civilizations, and discovered brand new worlds never before imagined. While not every dream is so far reaching, all envision the realization of what others deemed impossible. And, regardless the scope, all dreams share one thing in common—they come with a cost. Certainly, no dream is fulfilled unless the dreamer is willing to pay!

The Stubborn Dream

We first learn to dream as children and we are given great freedom to do so. Yet, as we grow older such freedom seems to diminish. Perhaps we’ve been told it’s childish, foolish, unrealistic, or selfish. Or maybe, we’ve reined in the freedom due to the loss of cherished hopes. Regardless the reason, sooner or later we learn that dreams come with a cost . . . and the cost is painful.

Yet, to dream is to be human and every now and then one just won’t go away. It greets us the moment we awake and still we see it just before dozing back to sleep at night. Even worse, accompanied with such dreams, is an ache in our soul that seems to increase the longer our dream delays. Eventually, how we learn to deal with the pain determines the outcome of the dream.

Counting the Cost

Jesus said we must count the cost before building a house, otherwise we’ll run out of resources before it’s completed (Luke 14:28). He clearly understood that every house was the outcome of someone’s dream . . . and willingness to foot the bill! In the same way, we must honestly assess what it will cost to realize our dream.

If we are presumptuous or dishonest in this accounting, we’ll set ourselves up for bitter disillusionment and painful disappointment. Dreams don’t simply fall from the sky, there’s always a cost that must be paid. For most of us, in one way or another, the cost is the facing of our fears—financial loss, relational failure, unemployment, sickness, death, etc. Yes, more than anything, it’s our fears that keep our dreams dormant for so many years.

So once we understand the cost, how can we know if the dream is worth the expense? Plain and simple . . . pain. When the pain of our dreams unfulfilled finally exceeds the growl of our fears then we’ll know we’re ready to pay. And once we finally do, we’ll be surprised to find an added benefit that comes with the purchase—freedom. Yes, from deep in our souls, a profound freedom will begin to arise. Next week we explore how such freedom can transform our daily lives.

What Do You Think?

Can you relate to the “pain of dreams unfulfilled”? If so, how so?

♦  To see the poem this post is based on, click here.

Author: David Trementozzi

David Trementozzi is married to his wife, Emily and they have three children—Judah, Kaleb, and Halle. David likes to write on topics related to Christian faith and their contemporary relevance. He has a B.A. in Psychology (Messiah College), Masters of Divinity, and Ph.D in Theology (Regent University). David is currently a professor of Theology at Continental Theological Seminary in Brussels, Belgium. To learn more about David, go to the About David page above.