Dreams can be fickle things. They appear to us as big ideas that will fill us with happiness and well being. Their simplicity encourages us to take that first step and head towards our promised land. However as we get closer, the harsh realities of the work involved becomes apparent. The novelty wears off and real cost becomes clear. We are then faced with a challenge; to pay the price or turn our backs and pretend that it was never that important in the first place.
The woman described in Proverbs 31 had a dream to produce her own wine. She carefully considered a field, assessed if it was the right step towards her dream, and purchased it with her own money (quite an achievement for a woman in that society). However then the hard work would have started. The field would have to be cleared, and prepared. The new vines planted and nurtured. After the first year there wouldn’t have been much to get excited about as the average vineyard takes 5-7 years before it becomes a profitable wine producing venture. At each step along the road the temptation to quit would have presented itself. The other demands of her life, her family, home and responsibilities would have continued to claim her time, while the new vineyard would have continued to claim her finances.
However she persevered until she was able to cook a meal and serve it with her own wine. How sweet that meal would have been as they celebrated the fulfilment of a dream. I wonder how many friends and family were invited to gather around that table as she thanked those who had encouraged her along her journey?
I recently heard about something called “The Ikea Effect”. The idea is that the harder you have to work for something, the more you appreciate it. Therefore you value that piece of flat pack furniture, that you sweated blood and tears over assembling, far more than the beautifully hand-crafted piece that you were given.
The bigger the dream, the harder we have to work to obtain it, but when it comes how sweet it is! Your dream may seem far off at the moment but if you keep taking steps towards it you will get there.