When the world is silent about your dreams

“And do not be conformed to the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2

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My husband and I have been TV junkies this week, thanks to the World Track & Field Championships going on in Moscow. There’s typically about four hours of live coverage for us to record overnight and then two more hours mid-day. So when we settle in for the evening, we take our dinner and sit on the couch and try to go through the six or so hours of coverage as quickly as possible. Afterward, I catch up on Facebook and Twitter, sites I dodge throughout the day so I don’t see outcomes of any of the race.

It’s an exciting week to be a track and field fan, but it’s frustrating, too. NBC never shows enough of the distance races, instead breaking up a lap or two here and there with field events and even a news story about anticipated trouble in the upcoming winter Olympics, which will be held in the Soviet Union. There’s a time and place for those stories, but right in the middle of a 10,000 meter race? Not the time.

I’ve also been struck by NBC’s poor announcing. I mean, I expect poor announcing in general from the network, because NBC seems unwilling to hire commentators who get excited about what they’re watching, but specifically, I’m shocked when they don’t even mention an American athlete’s name during a race. This is an American broadcasting company, and its commentators can’t bother to name all three Americans running in a particular race?

Earlier this week, the men contested the 10,000 meters, and Mo Farah was rightly the talk of the field. Galen Rupp, our best shot at an American medal in the event (he finished fourth), happens to be Farah’s training partner and won silver to Farah’s 10,000m gold in the London Olympics last year. So Rupp got plenty of mentions during the race, but the announcers practically ignored their other training partner running with them, US runner Dathan Ritzenhein (who finished 10th). Our third US runner? Chris Derrick, whom the announcers mentioned by last name only when the final results came on screen.

Derrick went on in a post-race interview to say “It’s not good to not be good.” That’s after coming in 18th in the world in extremely warm (read: tough) racing conditions and running a season’s best time for him at the distance.

The commentators ignoring him during the race, his own post-race response, and the tortured expressions of other athletes who will leave Moscow with dashed hopes and dreams all got me to thinking about how we respond when the world is silent about our dreams.

Jason Richardson, disappointed with a fourth place finish in the 400m hurdles

Jason Richardson, disappointed with a fourth place finish in the 110 meter hurdles in Moscow

Whether it’s athletes finishing out of medal contention or getting hurt along the way and not finishing at all, the silence about their efforts afterward must at times feel deafening. By deafening, I mean that the silence of the world leaves a vacuum that something, some voice will fill with loud and clamoring noise.

These athletes are professionals, and they have fans and a network of support to buoy them through heartbreak. But what about the rest of us? What happens when the rest of us hear a roaring silence from the world as we pursue our dreams?

This is something I’ve struggled with through this season of seeking a publisher for my first book. The nagging doubts and questions run deep, and in the deafening silence from potential publishers and agents alike, I’ve had to carefully guard against a voice that whisper-screams loudest in my head.

You see, there’s a liar that wants to tell athletes like Chris Derrick to pack away the spikes and move on to something else, just as there’s a liar that would love to convince me my book doesn’t deserve to see the light of day. Maybe there’s a liar’s voice in your head, whisper-screaming in the empty place of the world’s silence, telling you that your dream is futile, suggesting you aren’t worthy of success, convincing you to pack up your dream and move along.

If you find that happening to you, I hope you’ll arm yourself with the verse at the top of this post:

“And do not be conformed to the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2

You see, the world may want you to conform to its idea of success, and it may ignore you with silence as a way of convincing you to give up your dream. The liar’s voice may try to sneak in to fill the world’s void and achieve the same end. But Romans 12:2 promises that clearing out the silence of the world and the whisper-screams of the liar leaves room for us to prove God’s will for our dreams. To pursue what God wants us to chase, to achieve that in our lives which is good. Acceptable. And perfect.

Keep dreaming, my friends, and arm yourselves with God’s words and God’s will. Then the end result will be perfect.

6 thoughts on “When the world is silent about your dreams

  1. Some of you may remember my post in early July about Ryan Hill: https://theflourishingtree.com/2013/07/03/patriotic-running/

    He ran in the final of the 5,000m race in Moscow this past weekend and came in 10th, and that was after he did quite well in the semifinal that would determine who got to compete in the final. 10th in the world! The NBC announcers him treated him just as they had Chris Derrick in the 10,000 meters, mentioning only his last name when the final results list came up after the race.

    Ryan — I know there are plenty of folks out there cheering you on and letting you know how proud they are of your great finish. I hope you find the right sponsor soon, and that you keep running after your dream. I look forward to seeing you run for years to come!

  2. What a wonderful way to inspire those who may be having second thoughts about going on with their life’s dream……God Bless!!!! E

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