When Dreaming Doesn’t Do It

What do you do when your dreams collide with distractions?Shattered-Dreams

I had a lot of big dreams going into this semester and I haven’t done anything about most of them. It doesn’t look like I will anytime soon. There are just too many distractions in my life. They aren’t the bad type of distractions, just the little things that I should do that get in the way of the big things that I want to do.

There’s a story in Luke 8 where Jesus is going to heal a little girl who is dying. He’s walking through a big crowd of people and then immediately stops and asks the most ridiculous question. “Who touched me?” You hear the exasperation in Peter’s response. “Seriously? This little girl is dying and you’re going to stop because someone touched you?” But Jesus said it again. “Someone touched me.” A woman who had been sick for twelve years had touched Him and had been healed by her faith. Jesus stops and wants to hear the woman’s story. He welcomes the distraction.

Dreams are what I’ll talk about on a date if I’m trying to impress her. Dreams look good on a piece of paper taped above the mirror in my dorm room. Dreams are what keep my mind occupied in that impossibly boring History of Texas class at 12:30 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Dreams are sexy.

But God wants me to worship Him in the little things. He wants me to see the distractions as blessings and opportunities. He wants me to lay all of my days and all of my dreams at His feet and say “Your will be done.”

My dreams are still up on the mirror. I’ll probably still talk about them if I ever get a date and I still have every hope and intention of accomplishing them. But today is full of distractions that put my dreams on hold in the most humbling and glorious way.

God wants all of us today. Welcome the distractions. Worship in the distractions.

Here was my distraction the other night. My new friends in Penland are making it tough to study around here in the BEST possible way. 

Cash, Minor League Baseball, and Dreams

Right now, my mind looks a little bit like that photo collage they had us make in art class in fourth grade: scattered, hazy, and a little bit too full.

I was at a minor league baseball game in Springfield, Missouri a couple of weeks ago. Me and my friend Cash were sprawled out in the grass right beyond center field. Cash taught me a lot in the couple weeks I spent with him at camp staff training. He is the type of person who lets everyone around him know that they matter and that they are loved. This gift has earned Cash all sorts of leadership positions and local celebrity status just about everywhere he goes.

Anyways, we were talking in the outfield and he was sharing about his experience at Texas A&M. He said one thing that I’ve been thinking about since then.

I realized God wanted me to dream and to dream big.

Cash and I talked more about our dreams. Some were vague and some were specific. All of them were beautiful. Dreams are really beautiful things, and people who dream live big stories that look great on paper because they went somewhere. They did things that mattered.

God wants us to dream.  He made this world so big so there’d be places we could dream of going to. He made so many of us so we could dream of loving each other. He made both of these dreams to reflect back on Him. When we dream to explore this world, we are dreaming to discover more of our Creator, to see more of what He made. When we dream of loving each other (real, genuine, no strings attached love that gives and doesn’t need to get anything back), we are dreaming to know love as defined on the cross by Love Himself, Jesus Christ. 

God gives us options. He gives us a will and says go do stuff. Love me, love each other, and recognize you are broken and need me. Now dream. Go do good and hard things by the power that I give to you.

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16

The gospel frees us to dream in this kind of way. The news that God sent His Son to live a perfect life and die a horrific death and rise again victoriously makes us dreamers in two ways.

1. It tells us we’re loved. Just as a loving earthly father instills confidence into his son through love, our God does that with us. Scripture is laced with His love for us. His love enables us to dream unselfish dreams, dreams that don’t involve us being the hero but that point others to Jesus. His love catches us on a bed of grace when we our dreams crash and burn. And His love challenges us to love others in crazy, daring, and seemingly impossible ways.

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 8:37-39 (emphasis added)

2. It sets us free. Complete freedom isn’t given by constitutions or democracies. True freedom is freedom for ourselves: our sin and pride and selfishness and brokenness that cripples, ensnares and ultimately enslaves us. The gospel of Jesus Christ sets us free from that. We can only dream if we are free.

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36

The Son sets us free to dream of love and how far it goes. 

This is my favorite song in the world. The last time I listened to it, I realized it was about dreams. Enjoy the video. Then start dreaming.