by Heather Dunn
Sometimes you see it when you’re sleeping. Sometimes it’s just a wish. It’s usually something you don’t think can happen. Maybe you used to think it would happen, but that was some time ago. Usually it involves your gift mix. Usually you get all fired up when you start talking about it.
Everyone should have a dream. Joseph from the Old Testament had one. So did the Joseph in the New Testament. Martin Luther had a dream. Susan Boyle did too. (If you haven’t seen her interview and performance on YouTube, you’ve been working way too hard.) Dreams keep us awake at night thinking about the possibilities. They get us up in the morning, anticipating that today will be the day that something exciting will happen – that is if you still believe in yours.
What is your dream? Can you say it out loud? Have you ever told anyone about it? Have you ever written it down? If not, give it a try. Put it in your wallet or use it as a bookmark in your Bible. Say it out loud. Tell your prayer partner, mentor or best friend (or all three). Better yet, talk with God about it. He’s the one who gave it to you if it’s worth anything.
Where is your dream? Have you had your dream for so long that you’ve lost hope – or downsized it? Some of us have. Some of us have encountered enough discouragement and failure to give up or at least set it aside. Old Testament Joseph must have questioned his while serving time in prison. New Testament Joseph must have questioned his while people questioned his pregnant fiancÃ©e. Martin Luther must have questioned his when facing centuries of attitudes and beliefs. Susan Boyle must have questioned it for years – but never as much as when everyone laughed at her as she stood on that stage. What’s happened to you? Was there a laughing crowd or just one person who scoffed at you? Was there a comment from a pastor or parent that caused you to put it aside?
How different would this world be if either Old or New Testament Joseph would have given up on their dream? How would history be different if Martin Luther tossed his dream aside in discouragement? How would Susan’s life be different if she decided to let her dream slide and just work at the corner store and sing in the confines of her little apartment? How different would your church, your ministry, your family, your life be if you pursued your dream just a little longer or a little harder?
Where did your dream come from? I believe it came from God. He placed it inside of you when He birthed you – on purpose. He gifted you for it. He called you to it. And, if He did, should you consider putting it aside? Should you give up because others don’t see it? Will any of these excuses stand up before our Heavenly Father? I didn’t think so. I’ve tried a long list of excuses and couldn’t find any that I could actually say to my God (yours too, I just like to remind myself of how close He is to me). So, I’ve been convicted to get back to my dream, to stop making excuses. I don’t have any delusions that I’ll change the world or anything. I don’t expect to be wildly successful. But I do know that I can’t ignore that which God has given me to do. I have a responsibility to do what God created me to do.
You do, too, and you have so much more potential! So, what is your dream? You could also call it your calling. What ever you call it, the God of the universe gave it to you. If you think about it in these terms, it means that you are no more or less ‘called’ than Joseph, Martin Luther, Susan Boyle, your senior pastor, or even your church receptionist. God sees and loves each of us equally. He doesn’t play favorites.
God not only created you with your dream, He wants you to accomplish it! He’s rooting for you no matter what anyone else is saying. Listen to your fan club! Go for it. God says so!“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 (NIV)
Heather Dunn has been a Children’s Pastor for over 25 years and was the Children’s Product Developer for Group Publications. She currently works at Cherry Hills Community Church in Highlands Ranch, CO. Heather and her husband Ken live in Denver, Co and are the proud parents of 2 grown children.