The other day, my son and I had a conversation. Well, it was mainly him talking. I was preparing for the morning i.e. getting people ready to go out the door, and he was talking about what he wanted to buy with his allowance money. Honestly, I couldn’t care less about what he wanted to waste/spend his money on this time. I was too busy trying to ensure everyone had what they needed before they went out the door (like making sure I was wearing pants before leaving).

It dawned on me because he didn’t really have many responsibilities, he could just daydream about stuff he wanted. I would guess that if he had to be responsible for everything himself (and actually attend to it), he wouldn’t have time to really daydream. (In fact, lots of kids in the world don’t have that because of the adult responsibilities they carry.) The fact is, I wonder if there are many people out there who dream too much because really, they just don’t have enough to be responsible for. Or let me shift the angle a bit: if we concentrated on issues that were much more life-impacting, we wouldn’t spend so much time on the trivial.

I remember a friend in first year when I attended Western. Really smart guy. Straight As in engineering if I recall. He was doing so well. Then came March Madness (the NCAA men’s basketball tournament). For the next 3 weeks, he was glued to the TV with all his brackets and charts. He skipped three weeks worth of classes. Essentially, he flunked out after first year, because he was so focused on something so trivial he missed what was important.

That being said, it doesn’t mean we need to intensively focus on life-changing issues all the time. That’s why God wants us to rest every seven days, to give our brains a rest from the weight and the pressures. To remember that our accomplishments and objectives are NOT the most important things to ourselves (and to God). That it’s good to sometimes let the brain dream (even daydream) and allow the imagination to run free.

There is a balance. If you’re finding yourself spending too much time thinking about the relatively trivial, you may want to start asking whether you’re neglecting already-given responsibilities, or if you’re missing ones you should be dedicating your energies to. (God is pretty explicit about what are some things a Christian could easily focus on if they have so much free time.) If you find yourself completely stressed and overwhelmed, it may be worth taking some time (not huge amounts, but some) to let your brain daydream a bit.

Where do you find yourself on that continuum?

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