Dream Big

I always get excited about switching over to a new calendar, but there’s an extra special feeling about it this year: things are getting real around my house. Back in October, I hatched an idea to begin strategically building family culture in 2021. Values were chosen. Books were purchased. And then I waited.

The waiting is now over, and we’re off to the races! January’s focus has our planners out and our eyes up.

In this home, we dream big. Because God created us for a purpose, we want to live intentionally, not accidentally. Dreaming big looks like setting individual and family goals every year, feeding our imaginations, clarifying our own callings, creating vision boards, working through seasonal bucket lists, encouraging adventurous thinking, holding weekly meetings to schedule/budget/adjust needs, and frequently assessing our priorities.

To set the mood for the month, I collected a few inspiring quotes:

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

(Mark Twain)

“We are faith-filled, big-thinking, bet-the-farm risk takers. We’ll never insult God with small thinking and safe living.”

(Life.Church core value)

“All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.”

(T.E. Lawrence)

“Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon? Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

(Mary Oliver)

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

(Ephesians 3:20-21)

As an idealist, dreaming big comes naturally to me: I could easily fill a few lifetimes with the countless ways I’d like to turn the world upside down. What I need is a good filter. Taking a more methodical approach in considering how to spend this “one wild and precious life” seems like an appropriate starting point. After all, the psalmist begs God to “help us number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12). So I roll up my sleeves and begin a month-long treasure hunt of truth on the topic.

One opening thought captures my attention. There are two basic motivations for audacious aspirations: to be a big deal or to make a big dent.

The world will tell you to set your sights on building your own empire, garnering your own fame, crafting your own name. Make the most of this moment because this moment is all there is. The “big deal” mentality is just one motivational quote away. But eternity changes things. We’re contributing to a better kingdom, delivering fame to Someone far more worthy, and pointing hearts to the only Name that can save. This moment is a tiny blip in the scope of millions of forevers; but it’s packed with significance in the unfolding drama of redemption.

Jesus tells a story about a master who gives three servants different amounts of money to oversee while he’s away. Two of them handle their jobs well, make a profit, and are praised when the master returns. But the third is called wicked for burying what he was given and is cast out. God apparently honors gutsy living; biblically speaking, wasting our time, whether because of laziness or unbelief, on the smallness of self-preservation isn’t just foolish—it is “wicked.”

A quick glance at the news will reveal numerous needs in the world around us. We were created in the image of a God whose heart beats hard for the oppressed, the marginalized, the desperate, the impoverished. He’s marked us out for kingdom advancement from before time began, equipped us for every good work, and promised incredible blessing in heaven for our creative faithfulness here on earth. Between the Spirit’s drive inside of us and the urgent situation outside of us, how could we not dream big? The mission we’ve been invited to join is huge!

So here I stand at the beginning of January, ready to dream my heart out.

What big dreams do you have? I’d love to cheer you on!

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