The Pen

I Don’t Want To Have An Impossible Dream Or Birth A Vision For My Life

There is something out there that is terrifying. It is the scourge of your soul, and is what keeps you up at night. It leaves you continually unfulfilled and restless. It leaves you disappointed and damaged. It slowly eats away at you, as the years of discouragement embitter you until you become a shell of who God made you to be. It is the Goliath to your David It is the biggest obstacle you’ll ever face, and is the one thing that will make or break the joy you may or may not ever experience. It will leave you hollow, empty and dissatisfied. It is a terrible affliction that can and will ruin your life if you let it. What is it?

Its not achieving your impossible dream.

You’d think it was en epidemic in the Christian world, simply by the number of blogs, sermons, conferences, and messages given about this subject, especially by seeker-sensitive Pastors.  You’d think it was the most pressing issue facing Christians today and one which demanded our attention, least we all perish in a flaming fireball of insignificance. Why did God send Jesus to die on a cross? Not to save us from our sins, but rather to save us from a life of mediocrity. To save us from a life of purposelessness. To save us from failing to live up to our full-potential. To save us from our dead and dying dreams.

Its a very western, materialistic, self centered problem, which says that the worst thing that can happen to you in live is failing to birth your impossible dream. That’s another part of it. It goes something like this.

“Are you a maid making 7 dollars an hour whose been cleaning hotel rooms for the last 15 years, and you once had  a dream to do something, to be somebody, but over the years that dream has died? And now you’re stuck here and you’ve resigned yourself to a life of mundaneness and commonness? Well Jesus wants to resurrect your dead dream.” or “Are you stuck in a dead end job- working in a cubicle for a boss you hate, with three kids at home and a mortgage to pay, and you know that you were made for something bigger- that you made to be a leader and to be somebody? And God put an impossible dream on your heart, but everyone around you keeps you down and tell you that you’ll never accomplish it, that its simply too big? Well, God wants you to see your dream fulfilled.

You see, when God created you, he put a dream inside of you, and over the years that dream may have died a little bit, but God wants you to start dreaming a vision again. Without big dreams, we wither and die. The Bible says that  “without vision, the people perish.” What is God’s vision for your life? What impossible dream do you have? God wants to birth in you impossible dreams. Did God gave you a destiny? God wants to fulfill the desires of your heart. He wants you to imagine the unimaginable, and then He will take you even further.”

Ministry Today Magazine has an article about dreaming dreams. I think it nicely encapsulates and articulates the sentiment regarding this issue . The thrust of the article is that we are to dream dreams so big, that only God can fulfill them. In the section about how to know if your dream is from God, we read :

“The first test you can apply to your dream is: “Is it too big for me to fulfill without God’s help?” If you can do it without His help, you are not dreaming big enough. If it’s much bigger than you, you are on the right track. The Bible promises that all things are possible with God. Is your dream impossible enough? Does it go beyond you enough to qualify for God’s help? Your dream should be so big that it takes your breath away, makes you temporarily weak in the knees, and makes you cry out to God for help and guidance.”

Or how about some quotes by Mark Batterson, from what is a really, really bad book?

God isn’t offended by your biggest dreams or boldest prayers.  He is offended by anything less.  If your prayers aren’t impossible to you, they are insulting to God.” …. “If you’ve never had a God-sized dream that scared you half to death, then you haven’t really come to life.  If you’ve never been overwhelmed by the impossibility of your plans, then your God is too small.  If your vision isn’t perplexingly impossible, then you need to expand the radiuses of your prayer circles.”

But here’s the thing; I don’t have any big, audacious,  impossible dreams that leave me unfulfilled. I think all this talk of how we’re so empty and unfulfilled and that our current life isn’t good enough is, simply frankly, nefarious. Its evil and we ought to reject it and excoriate that sort of thinking. It doesn’t just appeal to ones desire for the American Dream, but it appeals to the disappointment we feel at not having achieved it. I find myself surrounded by a Christian culture that tells me that the life I desire is not good enough, and that if I’m not dreaming big, impossible dreams that I’m somehow lacking and missing out on what God intends for me. That there is an innate deficiency associated with it. I don’t see where in the scriptures I’m told that I need to do this, and that this has to happen to me, and yet I’m being told this is the case nonetheless.

Here is my vision for my life. Its found in the Bible, and I am told that it is a good thing.

Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another,  for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more,  and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one. 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12.

Love other people. Live a quiet life, mind my own affairs, and do honest work, whatever that may be. When I do this, I am serving God and serving my neighbor in my vocation. I am in God’s will and doing exactly what he wants me to do. Whether I am a waiter serving food in a restaurant, or an accountant doing taxes, or a father changing my child’s diaper- that is a wonderful, beautiful, satisfying thing, and the Lord is not dissapointed with me for doing this. You see, when you take someone like me, and tell them that they need to birth impossible dreams to fulfill my destiny with the vision so that I’m not living a dreamless unfulfilled life- that’s destructive. Its essentially saying that living a 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12 life is insufficient and possibly even sinful. That being a guy who lives in the suburbs who serves his neighbor and his bosses as he goes through the daily grind, who loves his children and his wife as best he can, and who loves the Lord as best he can, is missing out on some cosmically defined purpose which is shattered by a failure to be in God’s will and discover the impossible dream that I was destined to achieve.

I don’t want to have an impossible dream for my life, nor do I want to birth vision, nor so I want to be told that I need something more in my life. Christ died for my sins so I could be forgiven and saved from the wrath of God, not so that I could overcome my prideful desire for significance and personal self-fulfillment. Now that I rest in God’s grace,  I simply want to serve him and my neighbor in my vocation, whatever that is, which is a holy thing.

{Contributed by Dustin Germain.}