Chasing The Dream

Author: Alan McCarthy

Picture: Pxhere

Chasing The Dream

Experiencing God's love, and sharing the joy of the Gospel, are key to following our dreams, says Alan McCarthy.

Perhaps this year it will happen-Liverpool, Premier League winners.

As it currently stands, the odds are more even between Liverpool and Manchester City, and it’s quite possible Manchester City, with their tails up, will overhaul Liverpool and claim back-to-back Premier League titles.

As a lifelong Liverpool supporter, I yearn to see a restoration of my boyhood team’s success. Growing up in a family of three brothers in the 1970s and 1980s, my long-suffering Everton-supporting father must have despaired with ‘Red’ supporting sons-although I know he loved the excitement.

Why does it matter if Liverpool win the title? Why does it matter to Andy Murray, who, having survived the Dunblane massacre, went on to win two Wimbledon titles and two Olympic golds, whether he competes again at Wimbledon one last time or bows out now? Why did it matter to Trish Deykin, the British Triathlon European Gold medallist who, despite suffering from MS, competed without compromise to overcome and triumph in her sport?

Human Dreams Are Deeper Than Sporting Dreams

As I journey on into life’s ever twisting road, I acknowledge that pursuit of sporting, professional or personal achievement can largely be ‘vanity’, as the writer of Ecclesiastes bluntly warns us.After all, there are so many unsung heroines and heroes known only to those closest to them, or to the Lord.

Human dreams are clearly deeper than sporting dreams. We know of many of our loved ones whose choices and lives stand as beautiful examples of a life lived to the full, invariably through the power of the cross in their own lives.

I was recently listening to radio station UCB 2 and a female author was describing the transformative power of the Holy Spirit in her life. I was struck to the marrow by her words: “I used to pursue perfection and it nearly killed me. Now I pursue Christ who is perfection.”

I was immediately reminded of my Dad, to whom I am indebted for my love of fun, sport and faith. He always quietly reminded me to ‘pray to the Holy Spirit for everything.’

As a fine sportsman himself, his last words to me from the hospice bed were simple and profound, a summary of the gospel from this devoted Catholic man: ’The only thing that matters is love.’

God's Love Is All

When I get caught up in that all too easy human pursuit of wanting the world’s dream for me, my family or team, Dad’s words ring out from the edge of eternity.

It is Christ I really wish to pursue, Christ who showers me with abundant joy and love, Christ who is the Alpha and Omega (Revelation 22:13) and Christ who is the Way, Truth and Life (John 14:6).

God’s love is all, and this, ultimately, is the dream we are seeking.  Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.”(John 10:10) These words echo as a rudder through the deep of life’s waters.

Now to realise this dream IS one worth chasing. What’s more, it is to be done with joy. This gift of joy is the one that Pope Francis insists he will hold us to account for. We must share this ‘current of grace’ with the whole Church through the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.

For the whole Church to be set alight with the glory of the fire of the  Holy Spirit, I would willingly postpone Liverpool’s return to Premier League eminence!

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