At any given time I have a large number of dreams spinning above my head. When I meet new people and they ask me what I”m working on or what I”m dreaming about, I often dont know where to begin. I don”t differentiate between the things I am DOING and the things I”m DREAMING. Those things aren”t separate for me.
The reason is simple really. The moment I feel a DREAM stirring in my heart, I understand it”s already become something I need to DO. Let me give you an example.
One cold, November day a few years ago I had a conversation with my older brother, Jason who had written a book published through Baker Books (Surrendered and Untamed: Field Guide for a Vagabond Believer). In our conversation we were talking about writing and he mentioned that I should try to write a book. I was already writing screenplays, so why not try my hand at something else?
I hung up the phone and felt something stirring in my heart.Could I write a book? The idea was daunting and exciting and crazy.
Three hours later I”d finished chapter one of what would one day become AWAKE (no, the other chapters did not come nearly so fast). The point is, I didn”t go home and pray about it. I didn”t ask friends and family for their thoughts. I didn”t even check with my beautiful wife. I felt a dream stirring in my heart and the moment I realized I was dreaming about it, I dove in.
I can confidently say that had I not dove in right away I most likely never would have written AWAKE. I would have talked to people, looked at my available time, prayed and thought about how irresponsible it was. I then would have “shelved” the dream and said, “I”ll do it someday“. I now believe the word “someday” implies the death of dreaming.
I am convinced that our dreams are for TODAY. In my previous post I mentioned Paul
Young”s message about God giving us enough grace to live TODAY. When we hear his voice, it is rarely if ever meant for years down the road, it is for TODAY.
My best projects and relationships and most meaningful moments in life (random, fun and beautiful) all came from diving in and grasping the dream the moment I felt it stirring in my heart. Think about it. The only time we will have an opportunity to dive off a cliff is when we find ourself standing at the edge. We can dream all we want about diving off, but if we have already hiked to the bottom, our dream is merely a fantasy.
I meet people all the time who differentiate between those things they are DREAMING and those things they are DOING. They will tell me their dreams, but when asked what they”re doing about them, they”ll mention their lack of funding, time or energy. When I hear people speak like this I understand that they have already hiked down the mountain. They are no longer staring their dream in the face, but reminiscing about a dream they once had.
These people have already prayed about jumping off their cliff, and they”ve already talked it through with friends and family. Their dream is already half dead. Soon they will realize its just “not practical” or “realistic” and they will put the dream on the shelf and go back to living a life where they are bored and frustrated. I know this road because I walked it for many years.
I no longer waste breath praying or asking or talking or making a list of pros and cons. I understand that if the dream is stirring inside me, it is from God. I now dive in the very moment I feel it stirring. I often don”t have the funding or I”ll have little time or energy, but I still endeavor to give it what I have.
If you are standing at the bottom of your cliff looking up at the impossible dream you once had, it”s not too late to hike back up and jump off. Write your book. Make your film. Start planning that trip. Start learning the language or taking the dance class. Yes, its good to pray. As I dive off the edge of every cliff, I always thank God for the dream and mention how I”d love it if he would not let me hit the bottom too hard- but that prayer usually comes when I”m already in free-fall. This is what faith means.