In the Human Dilemma, we find the line between reality and dreams is often blurred. I’m not talking about that fuzzy feeling we get when we just wake up and parts of a dream linger into the real world. No, I’m talking about parents who tell their children that they are the best in the world at whatever they do. I’m talking about the pop star who tells his adoring fans, “Never give up on your dreams because, hey, look what happened to me.” I’m talking about the notion that if you want something bad enough and work hard enough, you will accomplish whatever you set your mind to. The truth of the matter is so obvious if we just think about it: There can only be one best in the world at anything; fame happens to a very small minority of those hoping to make it big; and desire and hard work are insufficient without ability, opportunity, and a fair amount of good fortune.
So, am I suggesting we tell our kids to aim low because reality is a dream crusher? Am I saying we may as well give up on our passions because chances are they won’t enable us to quit our jobs, let alone make us famous? Let me be very clear – NO. Trading in false hope for pessimism is not the answer. Why should we avoid one misery only to find another?
The Divine Solution to this part of the Human Dilemma may sound absurd at first, but give it some thought. It says: In this world system, we are all non-essential personnel; but when Christ is our identity, we are royalty in the Kingdom of God. Jesus taught this principle when He said, “the greatest among you will be your servant” (Matthew 23:11). And the Apostle Paul expanded upon it when he wrote, “Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of the world and the despised things — and the things that are not — to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before Him” (1 Corinthians 1:26-29).
I became aware of this right after I published my first book and I was still delirious with thoughts of literary fame. About halfway through my next book, it occurred to me that the world did not need another writer, and God was not obligated to build my platform, even though I was writing in support of His Kingdom. Admittedly, this was a blow to my pride, and my ego threatened to stop writing. If nobody needs me, I’ll just quit. But God lovingly forbade it. I had to finish my next book knowing it would never be published. Ironically, the title became: OBSCURITY: The Secret Greatness. Now, nearly six years later, I am an independent author writing, not for fame or notoriety, but for the love of writing and the joy of sharing it with a few. Do I ever think about literary fame? Honestly compels me to say “yes.” However, that former dream no longer has a hold on me. The Divine Solution has brought contentment to an area of life that used to cause restlessness and frustration.
I completely understand that this perspective does not appeal to a logic bent by the Human Dilemma. Nobody likes to be told they are non-essential. But to those who have had their perspective re-ordered by the Divine Solution, it makes perfect sense.