When the Dream Dies

08. October 2018 Blog Posts 13

“Oh where is my hairbrush, oh where is my hairbrush, oh where, oh where, oh where ….”


Like 60 million other parents, we have memorized every song from all the Veggie Tales VHS tapes and DVDs. (We had kids in both eras.) Apparently, we are in good company. One in three American homes with children own them.  Santa Claus even delivered the Tomato and Cucumber plush toys, card games, and puzzles over the years.  They’re still upstairs in the toy basket, waiting to become “vintage” to future grandchildren.


But Phil Vischer isn’t making Veggie Tales anymore.  He had to file bankruptcy.  Bob and Larry have retired.  Big Idea Productions is gone.  Vischer’s dream died.  And I’m sure he felt the vacuum, the emptiness.  Not to mention the confusion.


It was a dream Vischer thought was God-ordained and God-approved.  Spiritual lessons given to children in ways they could relate and understand.  With amazing animation and humor that captivated even the parents.


So what happened?


I recently had the privilege of attending a conference where Vischer was a speaker.  When someone with real-life wounds makes himself vulnerable enough to mine a lesson out of the hole he’s been in, I want to listen.


To hear Vischer talk about it, he refers to the Shunammite woman in 2 Kings 4.  The woman is described as a wealthy married woman. Elisha often passed her way in his travels, and he stayed in her guest room.  Elisha asked how he could help the woman in return for her hospitality, and learned that she had no children and her husband was very old. Elisha told her she would have a son by that time next year.


The prophecy, the unlikely dream, was fulfilled, and the woman had a child.


But the story was not over. Several years later, the child became ill, and he died that same day in his mother’s arms. The Shunammite woman felt the vacuum for sure.  Then Elisha returned and brought the boy back to his mother.


But sometimes the unlikely dream is fulfilled and then it dies, and it doesn’t come back to life, at least in our lifetimes.  Our success, our child, our health can vanish and never return.  Where is God in that?  We can wonder if we were ever tracking with God at all.


Vischer’s interpretation is that our good God sometimes allows a good dream, an unselfish dream, a God-given dream, to die.  If that dream does die, God wants to see what is most important to us:  the dream or Him.  (Remember The Bunny Song?)


We may get it back or we may not.  We may, indeed, live the rest of our lives without that once-fulfilled dream.  But that’s ok, because we will still have God:  an Everlasting and Infinite God.


Somehow for me it is easy to believe that God is infinite.  At least part of infinite.


He is omniscient (all-knowing), omnipotent (all-powerful), and omnipresent (all-pervading). God is timeless, having no beginning and no end. But it is not always so easy to believe that He is enough.  I still find myself wanting more.


There’s a reason I haven’t, after all these years, been able to find that “more.”


When my children were around three or four, they tended to get into a love-off with me.  I love you to the moon and back.  When they started teaching the concept of infinity in Kindergarten, they amped it up. I love you to infinity.  Then it became I love you to infinity plus infinity.  Once multiplication made sense: I love you infinity times infinity.  (Obviously, too much Silly Songs with Larry.)


By the time middle school hit, and they could understand that infinity plus or times anything is still infinity, they stopped saying it to me.  (Bummer.)


God is complete infinity: His love, His care, His existence, His very nature.  When we have him, we have everything.  We have infinity.  Nothing more can be added to make it greater.  Our Christian neighbor may have her spouse, her health, her dream still intact.  But she has no more than we do.


How does that work?


Even living with chronic illness, I still have everything, because His infinite nature takes up any vacuum I may feel in my own scarred, incomplete life.  Sometimes the dream God placed in our hearts and then in our hands dies and doesn’t come back to us.  But if He is more important than the dream, our unlimited, personal God fills in the gaps, and we still have everything.


Vischer says it best, “He who has anything plus God has no more than he who has God alone.”


Because anything plus infinity is still infinity.


Somehow I am envisioning a carrot singing a song about this.  And maybe pushing a vacuum while she’s doing it.


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13 thoughts on “When the Dream Dies”

  • 1
    Beth Pesnell on October 9, 2018 Reply

    Wow. What a message! It’s often hard to feel that HE is enough…great reminders today Lori!! Thank you!

    • 2
      Lori Ann Wood on October 9, 2018 Reply

      Thank you, Beth. It is one of my biggest struggles in life. I’m thankful it resonated with you as well!

  • 3
    Rebecca on October 9, 2018 Reply

    I look forward to reading your blog every Tuesday morning. The analogies you use to describe life are extremely accurate. Our life can be perfect one minute and maybe not so much the next. The readings lately have been about Job and his trials. I often wonder what will be mine? Thank you Lori. May we all have the strength it takes to do the will of God..

    • 4
      Lori Ann Wood on October 9, 2018 Reply

      So very true about life taking unexpected detours. The challenge is to hold on to our faith. Thank you!

  • 5
    Brad Grabs on October 10, 2018 Reply

    This idea really puts “things” and life circumstances into perspective. I love it. What a powerful image.
    Thanks for your inspirational guidance each week!

    • 6
      Lori Ann Wood on October 10, 2018 Reply

      Vischer was fascinating to hear. His presentation was short but perhaps the most powerful I heard the entire day.

  • 7
    Leigh Ann Zeller on October 10, 2018 Reply

    This is exactly what I needed to hear today, Lori, from another woman who understands the impact of a random occurence of a potentially life threatening chronic illness on her dreams. Dawn Grabs shared your blog with me since I’m living with the chronic illness of metastatic/stage 4 breast cancer. Have you read Safe in the Shepherd’s Arms by Max Lucado? It helps too. Thank you for putting yourself out there in your blog.

    • 8
      Lori Ann Wood on October 11, 2018 Reply

      So excited to hear from you, Leigh Ann! I am encouraged when the scattered thoughts in my head mean something to someone else. Thank you for your example of honest faith through a devastating diagnosis. I’m adding you to my prayer list, sister. Hope we get an opportunity to meet one day.

  • 9
    Leigh Ann Zeller on October 11, 2018 Reply

    Ahhh, keep writing, Lori! I’m so excited to get to read your lovely stories now! I’m sharing your blog with my group of single women with metastatic breast cancer and their caregivers from the retreat my Mom and I went on recently and the hospital staff who put it on for us. Thanks for your message and prayers and I’m adding you to my prayer list as well. I hope we get to meet as well! Big Hug!

  • 10
    Carol Willis on October 19, 2018 Reply

    Love this article reminded me of when Mark was small I would say “I love your nose and reply “I love your eyes” and it would go on. So thankful for these precious memories. So we hold on to these as we hold on to our promises from God. And off we go along the road of Life. Happy trails to you and Dale.

    • 11
      Lori Ann Wood on October 20, 2018 Reply

      Sweet! Those days are gone too fast.

  • 12
    Kristin Skipper on November 5, 2018 Reply

    I love this post! The analogies are amazing and relatable! I had no idea he went bankrupt and that’s why there’s not more veggie tales :(. My oldest grew up watching them over and over again. We loved them. And it’s so true. Just because you have a dream, one you thought was God given, doesn’t mean it will be there forever or successful. God wants to be the center of your life and your focus and will remind you of it if you fall of course, it’s up to you to listen and obey. Great writing!!

    • 13
      Lori Ann Wood on November 6, 2018 Reply

      Thanks, Kristin. He was a fascinating speaker to experience. His message made a lasting impression on me. Appreciate your feedback!

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