I have a love/hate relationship with risk. I used to be very cautious, responsible, and overthink everything. Over the last few years, I’ve released a lot of my tight-fisted grasp and become much more spontaneous. These days I like to think that I’ve lightened up, grown up, and am not such a control freak! I like to do adventurous things and face my fears. Except when I don’t and the old me comes rushing back in! Do you ever have Jekyll and Hyde moments/days/weeks?
- learned to talk to people I don’t know on a regular basis
- learned to love trying new things
- decided to often say yes and then figure it out later
- started 2 businesses and run them successfully
- pierced my nose (not really that risky, but I do love it and it’s kind of different!)
- become passionate about using my gift of evangelism to intentionally reach out to people who are seeking God
At the same time, when it comes to certain things, I want to shrink back and stick my head in the sand! One of those things that creates that fear in me and brings the “hate” part into play with risk is dreaming big. As soon as I start dreaming, it’s as if something comes over me that says, “no, we’re not going to get our hopes up here. Don’t think too far ahead, just focus on today/this week/this month or you’ll get overwhelmed.” (yes, the voices in my head speak in plural!). It’s even a physical reaction many times where my heart races and I feel anxious. As I’m writing this, I’m experiencing those emotions!
In addition, I find myself thinking very narrowly when it comes to dreaming big. I suppose that is somewhat of an oxymoron because I don’t think dreaming big and narrow thinking really go together! Do you ever argue with yourself? Here is an example:
–what if I could…?
–but you can’t!
–but God can!
–sure, He can, but what if He doesn’t?
…and on and on. Does that happen to any of you? Can I get a witness? (where does that phrase come from? I’m pretty sure I’m too white to use it, but it just felt like the right thing to insert there!)
I’m just about finished with a book called The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson. The premise of the book (based on a Jewish legend) is that God wants us to pray circles around our dreams, fears, other people, His promises, etc. He focuses on 3 aspects: dream big, pray hard, think long. I would like to cover the other 2 in subsequent posts.
A few favorite quotes…
- One litmus test of spiritual maturity is whether your dreams are getting bigger or smaller. The older you get, the more faith you should have because you’ve experienced more of God’s faithfulness.
- You cannot build God’s reputation if you’re not willing to risk yours.
- If you put what little you have in your hand into the hand of God, it won’t just add up; God will make it multiply.
- Too often we let how get in the way of what God wants us to do. We can’t figure out how to do what God has called us to do, so we don’t do it at all.
- We shouldn’t seek answers as much as we should seek God.
- Prayer opens our spiritual eyes so we see sooner and further.
- Our biggest problem is our small view of God
- A big dream is simultaneously the best feeling and the worst feeling in the world. It’s exhilarating because it’s beyond your ability; it’s frightening for the exact same reason.
What stands out to you? Where is God calling you to dream big? I’m planning a prayer/spiritual retreat for next month to allow God space and time to shape my dreams into something He is pleased with and to ask Him to stretch my faith and expand His purposes in my life. Stay tuned!