Dr. Gray Sr.
Proverbs 27:1 says “Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.”
The biggest mistake made by mankind is dreaming what tomorrow will be like. We say, “This is the way tomorrow is going to be,” and we picture tomorrow. However, dreams and fantasies never include negatives. Nobody ever says, “I know what will happen tomorrow; my mother-in-law is going to come and live with me.” Nobody ever says, “Tomorrow the commode is going to get plugged up.” Nobody ever says, “Tomorrow the sewer line is going to be stopped up.”
Dreams and fantasies do not include negatives, but the reality always brings negatives; that is what makes it reality. A young lady says, “I’m looking for the man of my dreams.” He just does not exist. The reality your dreamboat will bring with him includes bad breath in the morning and stinking feet in the evening. Young man, the woman of your dreams does not exist. In those dreams and in those fantasies, there are no negatives; that is what makes them dreams or fantasies.
We place our dream of tomorrow on one side and the reality of tomorrow with its negatives on the other side; then we compare them. The dreams without the negatives overshadow reality, and we become unhappy, depressed, and melancholy. The fantasy without its negatives compared to the reality with its negatives discourages us.
A young lady planning for her marriage says, “This is the way it will be.” She cannot wait to get married to that big bruiser. She fantasizes about the way her marriage will be. When marriage comes, she puts the reality on one side and the fantasy on the other side, and they do not match. Thus, she becomes disenchanted with her husband and with her marriage. She does not blame her fantasy; she blames her husband for not fulfilling her fantasy. She says, “This is the way it will be!” However, fantasies do not include bad breath, stinking feet, bouncing checks, a mother-in-law, car payments, and a temper.
Fantasies do not include being pregnant every nine months for four years. Fantasies do not include ten sick babies, a lost job, a Ford car, cut-off notices from the electric company, eviction notices, and layoff notices. Reality has no chance to measure up to fantasy.
Someone said, “All of my dreams have crumbled.” It is time to quit dreaming and go to work. Listen carefully, you cannot see tomorrow; but you can see today. Today can never compare to tomorrow because tomorrow never reveals her negatives, while today shouts out her negatives.
You cannot see tomorrow. You can visualize tomorrow. A young preacher goes to pastor his first church, and he dreams of the way it will be; but his dreams do not include deacons. Deacons are a reality. So he puts reality on one side and his dreams on the other side, and they do not match. Why? Because tomorrow forgot to announce her negatives, and so tomorrow did not match today. His dreams had no negatives, but reality brought negatives, and so the young preacher is unhappy.
A church lists all the things they want in a new preacher. Then they call a preacher and compare him to what they thought they would get, and they are disappointed. Why? The church becomes disenchanted with the new pastor because dreams never can be matched by realities.
The little lady looks forward to marriage, and she says, “This is the way it is going to be.” “I cannot wait,” she says. She puts her dream on one side, and then she is married and finds out that her husband cannot measure up to her dreams. However, there is a fellow at work that does, or so she thinks. The man at work always measures up to fantasies because she does not smell his breath in the morning and his feet in the evening. She says “Wow, now I have found the man that can match my dreams.” So she divorces man number one and marries man number two. She brings number two home. After awhile, she finds out that his breath smells in the morning and his feet stink at night. She measures him at home to her dream, and he also fails the test, just like man number one did.
“Oh, but there’s a fellow in the bowling league that measures up to my dreams,” she says, and the process starts all over again. They always measure up at a distance. So here comes candidate number three, and his breath stinks in the morning and his feet stink in the evening, and he likewise does not measure up to her dream.
It is the same process for a preacher who goes to church number one, and reality does not measure up to his dream. So he goes to another church. What happens? The new church says, “This is what we want in a pastor. We think we have found the right man.” The young pastor says, “This is what I want, and I think I’ve found it.” So they both get together, and neither of their dreams matches their realities. Now you have an all-out war.
A preacher who stays two years and then moves will do it again. A church that fires a pastor in two years will do it again. What is the problem? The dream has no negatives. The reality has negatives. When the two are compared, disenchantment occurs. They are trying to find the elusive fulfillment of their dreams. There is no way that reality can equal a dream. Too many contrast the greenness of the grass on the other side of the fence to the brownness of the grass on this side of the fence. So, you say, “There must be something better out there, because it is so bad here.”
THE UNKNOWN CANNOT COMPARE WITH THE KNOWN When a preacher never becomes comfortable anywhere, he is creating an appetite that will ruin him. He never becomes comfortable in a church, a job, or a house. He always feels that there is something he is supposed to be doing that he is not doing now. You cannot see tomorrow. You are making the mistake of your life by attempting to figure out what tomorrow will be like. You let God take care of tomorrow and today. There is no way to compare fantasy with reality; you cannot compare the unknown with the known.
THE FUTURE CANNOT COMPARE WITH THE PRESENT Your happiness is in direct proportion to your satisfaction of yesterday’s hope. Whatever you hoped yesterday, the fulfillment or non-fulfillment of that hope today will make you happy or unhappy. What are your hopes for tomorrow? I would give a simplistic answer of “I plan to serve God.”
LOOK BACK FOR YOUR HAPPINESS AND FORWARD FOR YOUR HOPE My happiness is not based on what I believe, but on what I believed. My salvation, marriage, call to the ministry, church I pastor, children I have, grandchildren I have, converts I have, and so on, all give me happiness because they are reality, not fantasy. My hope is to see Jesus coming back for us at the rapture, the hope of Heaven, the hope of a glorified body, and the hope of eternity.
DO NOT COMPARE TODAY TO YESTERDAY Every day is an adventure in your service for God. Every year provides its own built-in challenges. God has given us the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to help us and guide us through these uncharted waters. I dare not compare today to yesterday.
USED WITH THE EXPRESS PERMISSION OF DR. GRAY SR.
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"We are too busy to pray, and so we are too busy to have power. We have a great deal of activity, but we accomplish little; many services but few conversions; much machinery but few results." ~R.A. Torrey