I imagine the wise men traveling through the wilderness, following a star—likely for years—and I think to myself, “That sounds familiar. My life’s story is like that.”
Well, okay, not exactly. But there are some similarities to my life and to yours, too.
We have dreams in our hearts that seem like a star placed by God just to draw us out of our comfort zones and toward realized promises. The journey is long and rough. We tire, and we wonder how others who’ve gone before us managed to successfully chase lofty goals.
Those ancient wise men managed to succeed at their lofty goal somehow, following a star to a far-off land and meeting Jesus.
Wealthy men, what kind of comfortable homes did they leave behind to embark on their quest?
At some point, did it seem like they’d be following that star forever, never to arrive at their destination?
And when they found the humble home of Mary and Joseph, did they have a moment of doubt that their journey was worth the trouble?
Those questions say more about me than about the wise men, though. Thankfully, the wise men’s example provides a sort of answer to these questions, a model for modern dreamers to follow.
Going off the account of the wise men from Matthew 2:1-12, here are some lessons for dreamers we can still apply today, paired with some questions to help you consider your journey:
They studied and recognized God’s sign when it appeared. Contrast that with the way the chief priests and scribes of Jerusalem had to scramble when the wise men walked in and pointed out a miracle was happening right in their area. A relationship with God through His Word is paramount if we’re going to recognize what He’s calling us to do.
For the modern dreamer: How have you been investing in your relationship with Jesus?
They got up and moved when they saw the star. God gives us talents and passions for a reason. As we draw close to Him and He lifts up a dream for us to follow, let’s not hesitate for fear of what others will think or how our lives will change.
For the modern dreamer: Have you been hesitating?
They left their comfortable homes. Following dreams means sacrifices. We sometimes literally leave our homes. We often give up free time or income. The trade-off is adventure with God.
For the modern dreamer: What comforts are you clinging to at the expense of your calling?
They didn’t let the pomp and circumstance of a worldly king sway their allegiance to their mission. We might not run into King Herod, but money, popularity, and a dozen other things can tempt us to go directions God hasn’t called us to.
For the modern dreamer: What distractions is the world offering you?
They rejoiced along the way. Their journey was a long one. They were likely tired, and they’d just had a rather weird experience with King Herod and the people of Jerusalem. Yet, the sight of the star in Matthew 2:10, a sign they were getting close, thrilled them. However long our journey is, we, too, are called to rejoice.
For the modern dreamer: How can you practice joy today?
They didn’t let the humble home of Mary and Joseph dissuade them from offering their best. I imagine traveling all that way and then coming to a rather non-descript (other than the starlight bath, of course) home. And still, the wise men pull out the gold, frankincense and myrrh. Sometimes, dreams-come-true aren’t as outwardly majestic as we’d hoped they’d be. Often, God’s plans revealed in our lives involve trials and heartaches. Or, maybe where we are right now is more humble than we’d hoped. But we can’t let that prompt us to offer less than the best.
For the modern dreamer: Have you been holding back?
They didn’t worship the star. The wise men were on a mission to worship Jesus. Following a dream for so long can make it seem more and more important in our lives, but the dream as it plays out on earth is not the point of our journey. That twinkling dream-star is the means by which God draws us and those around us closer to Himself. Like the wise men, we must follow the star not to stand in starlight, but to be led to the place where we’ll see Jesus face-to-face.
For the modern dreamer: If you’ve begun to seek the star and not the Savior, how can you right your priorities?
Following the wise men’s example, we must follow the star not to stand in starlight, but to be led to the place where we’ll see Jesus, No matter how brightly any of our dreams might be sparkling, Jesus, the light of the world, is brighter.