Friday, August 17, 2012

If you just Dream

I got to speak at our camp church service on Sunday a few weeks back. Since I write better than I talk, I wanted to write out things much more in depth before I said them. Ideally I could just stand up there and read. I wish that I could engage people in my words just by reading what I’ve written to them....unfortunately, that doesn’t fly. The second you start reading is the moment people start checking out. You can watch them do it, too.

So, no. I did not read.

Instead I wrote and processed through the thousands of things I wanted to convey to our summer staff this year. I really think they just stemmed from two big things:
1.     Following our Dreams
2.     Sharing the Gospel 
I think I have a lot of regret from my college years. A lot of regret because there I was, immersed in a culture of so much diversity and I stuck with what I knew all too often. I went with what was comfortable. I didn’t allow myself much room to dream, and when I dreamed, I often froze in fear when I thought about doing much about it.

Here are a few questions I asked them to consider that I'd now like you to consider:
1.     What are your dreams/passions?
2.     What are you doing about them?
3.     If you don’t have dreams/passions, why do you think that is?
4.     How does the gospel fit into you dreams/passions? Or, better yet, how do your dreams/passions fit into the gospel?  
I then showed this sweet video of me as a little girl with my blonde-haired mullet throwing a temper tantrum. I was ticked because my broken-armed brother wouldn't let me use the broom and I very clearly 'needed' to use it in that moment. I began screaming and crying and jumping up and down. I'm proud of that moment.... Mostly, I showed it to unveil a bit of how I typically respond when things don’t go my way… when I don’t get what I want.  Sure, it might not be the literal jumping up and down and the deafening screams... but, even if it's just in my head, I probably throw a bit of a fit. 

So what is it for you? How do you respond to things not going the way you'd like for them to?
--do you avoid?
--do you run?
--do you pretend you never wanted it in the first place?
--do you get angry?
--do you believe that God has ‘shut a door’?
Or do you fight for it?

How often are we people who push through, who really persevere… and become conquerors?

For once I felt like I was in the same spot as many of my summer staff… facing the unknown. Maybe a few of them know exactly what they want to do next, or what lies at the end of their college graduation… but the vast majority of them seem plagued by the future.
I don’t know what God wants me to do with my life’ seems to be the cry that echoes among them. ‘I wish He would just tell me and then I would go’.  Or, even if they have a next step, there’s the constant worry that maybe they're doing the wrong thing. Maybe you can relate to them. Maybe you feel like you’re being selfish in doing what you want to do, maybe you’re unclear on what God really wants and you’re just following your own heart.

I guess I wonder how much the sharing the gospel is incorporated in our vision of what’s next. And, if we’re doing that, I wonder how much it matters what’s next.

And, if that’s the case… why wouldn’t we do everything we can to follow our dreams? Why wouldn’t we do everything we can to pursue our passions, our gifts? Wouldn’t it be worth it, no matter the cost? Because, if spreading the gospel is the crux of our dream, no matter what form the dream takes… it’s always worth it.

I also wonder how much we think we have to wait for our dreams. Once I graduate college, then I can …But, I wonder how much we’re just waiting …. And putting off…. And waiting… because it’s safer.

Why wouldn’t we start now?
And since the gospel is the crux of our dream, why wouldn’t we start sharing now?

I just want us to be willing to dream be willing to do radical things for the sake of the Gospel. I want us to not be deterred when things aren't easy or when we fail. I want us to be willing to face rejection and disappointment because we're pursuing these things that we are passionate about and at the core of it all is Jesus. 

I want us to be willing to dream about our immediate future, even in the small things. I want us to be willing to reevaluate, to live out the Gospel no matter where we are or what we are doing. I want us to be aware of where we spend our time and instead of being so absorbed within ministry, I want us to be people who actually do ministry--you know, like actually hang out and love people who don't know Jesus vs. spending all of our time with those that do. 

I challenged the staff to tell each other their dreams--even the loftiest, most ridiculous dreams that they might have all the way to the smallest most seemingly insignificant ones. I urged them to be open and real and to start pursuing them immediately.

Living out the Gospel through our dreams, gifts and passions. 
It seems like a pretty beautiful thing to me.
No, not easy. Beautiful.
Hard, messy, trying and failing, trying again and failing, trying again and succeeding... but persevering because it's worth it. He's worth it. 

And then you will save both yourself and your hearers. 

Take pains with these things. Be absorbed in them. 
Let nothing stop you

1 Timothy 4:9-16

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1 comment:

  1. Pressing Play

    I'm entangled in the sin of not treating my body as a temple, whether that be by not eating or by doubting that my worth comes from the Lord, so often I find the gray zones in His truth and become immersed in the belief that I am worthless and unloved.  

    I struggle in believing that I can confide God in any situation and that He cares. I often feel like my worldly probs are a burden/annoyance to Him. Why does He care? Why do I matter?