Dreaming big is easy. Super easy if you have no plans of actually doing anything with them.
But dreaming dreams that have a positive affect on your reality gets a lot harder. I have found that there are three kinds of dreaming I do, and each takes me into a different reality:
These are the dreams that you have when you wish you could escape. They take us out of reality, into the lands of fairies. It is a world imagined for the sake of escape. You can go right through the wardrobe into Narnia, or drift off into Neverland from where you sit. And while journeying with Frodo is fun for a while, the only impact they have in our reality, is a bit of stress relief.
Pipe dreams are the dreams we dream that seem realistic but are not. But because they have an illusion of real life, we sometimes spend a lot of time in them. Like thinking you can become a basketball pro when you are only five feet tall, or becoming a musical star when you are tone deaf. They are dreams that can consume a lot of effort from us, but would be better off abandoned.
Truth is, most often this is not our dream. It is a dream that takes us into someone else’s vision of reality. The pressure of parents living through their kids, or the peer pressure of society’s expectations. The “if only I would do this, then I would be IN” dreams.
Visionary dreams are the hard dreams. They are dreams that come with a very real impact on reality. The dream for how your kitchen will look after the remodel. The dreams for what your new house will be like. And the dream of what you want to do with your life.
Visionary dreams have valid handles. They have next steps you can grab a hold of. And if we don’t, they become fantasies.
In my experience, big visionary dreams come with big doubts. Doubts of whether you have what it takes. And sometimes even doubts about whether you are hearing from God right. And I know I am not the only one that feels like that. Moses felt like that. Isaiah felt like that. I could give you many more. It is encouraging to know I am in good company.
It should not surprise us that real dreams come with doubts, because Scriptures say that it takes faith to please God. So naturally doubt would try to derail us. And one way doubt derails us is by turning our dream so that it becomes an escape, not a vision. The other way doubt derails us is by manipulating our dreams to fit the expectations of others or peer pressure, and then we are pushing a pipe dream.
Anybody doing anything in life that is worth doing, anything God designed them for, faces those doubts. And we’ll have to find a way to surrender and embrace God’s design for our life, and to keep moving forward. Most of the time, effort exerted in achieving the dreams God lays before you is energizing. Life giving.
But not always. Sometimes we get exhausted, and we’ll need to find a way to refresh. To be still. But sometimes, we will need to do the next thing even when we don’t feel like, and keep pushing. Since the Garden of Eden, thorns have been part and parcel of stewardship of our gardens. And while planting our God-given dreams, and watching them sprout and grow may be hard work, they are also enjoyable. But the weeding, that part may not be so much fun. But it is part of our broken reality.
I have big dreams for this blog. But with those big dreams come big doubts. Do I have anything to say that will be of help? Do I have anything to say that will engage? So sometimes I have to push through. Because I have no intention of letting my dream for this blog become either, a fantasy dream or a pipe dream.