When Dreams and Destiny Collide

I wrote this article last year (published in The Vermilion Standard) and it received such a warm response I thought I would repost it here.

The biblical Christmas story is filled with unique and unusual characters that are brought together in God’s divine plan to bring Christ into our world. One of those unusual characters is Mary, the mother of Jesus.

Mary is not the character that we would naturally expect God to choose as the Mother of Christ. Historically, Mary was most likely about 14 years old and would have been everything we would expect in a teenager. Imagine that for a moment. She would have had all the dreams of a teenage girl; a girl engaged to be married to her beloved Joseph. She would have been thinking about her wedding and her new life with her future husband. She would have had all the dreams of what her life was going to be like and then…suddenly…one evening…everything changed. Her dreams and her destiny violently collide and things change forever.

One evening this young girl was visited by an angel who tells her that she will be with child and that child will not be an ordinary child but will be the Saviour of the world – God’s one and only son. This was not the life Mary would have expected, dreamed about, or was trained for. Imagine, for a moment, how this would have affected Mary. She would have faced the probable rejection of Joseph as well as her immediately family for what, to them, would have been interpreted as her promiscuity. Although their perception would not have been accurate, her situation would not have been tolerated in the culture and society of her day. It would have mostly likely meant her being an outcast and potentially disowned. Mary would be facing a life of rejection by the world around her and her family. The news of the angel telling Mary her destiny would have violently collided with her dreams. God interrupts her life with an angel and the news of a life-altering event that makes her dreams collide with her destiny.

Have you ever had your dreams collide with your destiny? Everything was moving along as you had planned until…suddenly…everything changed. Maybe that something was a diagnosis, maybe it was a tragic event, maybe it was news you were not expecting, maybe it was something God was calling you to. Whatever it was, or is, how did you, or are you, responding?

Mary is told that she would be the mother of the Christ and her response in the biblical story is quite inspiring. She replies: “I am the Lord’s Servant. May it be as you have said.” Wow!!! How many of us at 14 would have responded with such an open, willing and mature heart and perspective? In the midst of the collision of destiny and dreams, she turns her heart to God and submits her dreams and desires to God and focuses on who He is.

This Christmas season, have you experienced a violent collision? Have your plans, your preferred future, or your dreams come into collision with your destiny (what you can’t control)? What has your response been?

The Christmas story reminds us that even though the biblical narrative involves real people with interesting stories, the main character is, and will always be, Christ. Mary, in the midst of her collision, focuses on Christ. This focus allows her to have a unique perspective in the midst of the collision she is facing. When you face a collision, whom will you focus on? Where will you find peace, purpose, etc.? The Christmas story is a great reminder that Christ needs to always be our focus, even when our dreams collide with our destiny.

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