From Tony: This is a guest post by Jon Stople. If you are interested in submitting a guest post, click here.
When I was a kid, I had big dreams. I dreamed of being a Broadway actor. I dreamed of opening my own baseball card store. I dreamed of flying in outer space. I dreamed of creating a new town where pollution was low, where people got along, and where people were proud to live and work.
What happened to these dreams?
Maybe some of these dreams were unrealistic. Maybe some of my interests changed as life moved forward. Maybe. But maybe somewhere along the way I stopped dreaming.
It’s easy to allow the realities, pressures, and challenges of daily living to dampen our dream mechanism. We grow complacent with the status quo. We become content with puny passions.
What happened to dreaming big?
How can we reawaken our capacity and desire to dream big?
These are questions that have me STRETCHING these days. Here are some answers I’ve discovered along the journey:
1. Don’t put God in a box. Our dreams start with a definition of what is possible. When we put God in a box, we’re saying our faith is only this big – what is possible is finite. But the Bible says “with God ALL things are possible.” When we begin to grasp this concept, we open up a whole new perspective on dreaming.
2. Don’t let the haters drag you down. These are the ones who put limits on us. Those negative people who walk around with a black cloud overhead stifle our dreams. People like this tell us we can’t do it. They tell us it’s not worth the risk. They would rather sit around grumbling than getting up and doing something that matters. To combat this tendency, we need to surround ourselves with positive people – with other dreamers. The writer of Hebrews talks about the importance of meeting regularly with people who will spur us on (Hebrews 10:24-25). We need people around us who will lift us up and spur us on to bigger dreams.
3. Don’t let your dreams go by unrecorded. We all have thoughts and ideas that come in and out of our heads. Some of our ideas are crazy, and some may seem way too big to tackle. I would encourage you to write down these thoughts and ideas. Keeping a journal of our dreams is the first step in making these dreams come true. A journal provides a place to record and to process our dreams. On the pages of a dream journal sits the sparks that could ignite the flames of major dream achievement.
4. Don’t wait until tomorrow. Finally, if you want to dream big, start today. Don’t put off dreaming and living out your dreams for another day or the perfect moment. The apostle Paul talks about making the most of every opportunity. This passage is most often attributed to sharing our faith, but I think we can also take it as a call to action – a call to dream big starting right now!
My days as a Broadway actor or a baseball card shop owner or an astronaut may be over, but I believe there’s more ahead of me than I realize. Discovering these paths starts with learning again how to dream big, having faith to take the leap, and trusting God along the way.
Time to dream big!
Are you still dreaming big? What are you dreaming about? What’s holding you back from pursuing your dreams?
Jon Stolpe is a Christ-follower, husband, dad, son, uncle, engineer, runner, writer, operations manager, adventurer, group life junkie, and the list goes on…. Jon blogs daily about life’s “Stretch Marks” at Jon Stolpe Stretched. You can also follow him on Twitter or Facebook.