Wednesday, December 2, 2015

for when you dream

I am most assuredly a planner, but in my heart I am also, most assuredly, a dreamer.  It is very common, I feel, for a planner to shift to dreamer and back again on a fairly steady basis.  Dreams are in fact plans at their inception.  Though lofty they may be, a dream is a plan you have for your future.  You are wishing and pondering over something you desire to become or accomplish, which presently isn't in existence, but maybe, possibly, hopefully might could come to fruition in the future.

There is one major dilemma when mixing a planner and a least in this dual-card-holding girl's life.  The type A responsible and realistic opinion inside you likes to come to the surface, push its glasses to the tip of its nose, stare down and calmly (or erratically depending on your temperament) explain why, in fact, that dream you so lovingly dream can not and will not ever become a reality.  The reasons line up, because they are obviously presented with bullet points and color coded for organization and effect, so you take your dreams and you do your best to push them down, while assuming that's the right thing to do, and you look at what's in front of you for accomplishing the task at hand.

A middle ground can always be argued.  No, I can not let my life be ruled by emotions, constantly switching back and forth from thought to thought, and idea to idea, with no grasp of the reality of what being a responsible adult means in the world around me, or without the effort of concentrating and dedicating myself to a single task at a time.  Oh but on the other side, to ignore part of myself, part of the person God created me to be, is a dangerous, yes dangerous, place to be.

While teaching children's church this past Sunday we were discussing the story of Zachariah and how that Godly priest was left mute for months because he couldn't quite believe that God was in fact going to do what the angel said He was going to do.  Oh that familiar pride and unbelief that plagues us all.  The phrase "too good to be true" was chatted about, and how we all hear things that sound great but don't quite measure up.  Then we talked about God and His promises, and that we can believe, without a shadow of a doubt, that anything and everything He says is true.  Next in the sequence of teaching this truth to young minds came the conversation of how God speaks to us.  The bible was first on the list (right after the inevitable answer of "Jesus" that is blurted out to every question asked in church ever in the history of Sunday school).  Then a sweet voice answered "God also puts things in your heart".  Let the little children come to Him indeed!

While Disney is not the gospel, the gospel is in fact everywhere. So when Cinderella sings "a dream is a wish your heart makes" with the birds and mice in the top of her tower, the Holy Spirit is the first person that comes to mind when I hum that tune to myself, as I'm doing now.  Living inside me is the third person of the Trinity.  Living inside me is the very Spirit of Jesus.  Living inside me is a loving guide that shouts at times, but more often whispers reminders of the person I am and the way I should go.  So to push down those dreams that continually come up, is to ignore the voice inside me which directs my heart, directs my life, and asks me to repent of my naysaying ways, and instead trust that the lofty and impossible is exactly what He does.  If I already knew how to accomplish all the things, what is my faith for anyway?

God in all His omnipotent glory will call us all to impossible things. Not just scary, "please let me scream no and run away like a kid" things.  For example, killing giants like David or moving your entire family to a land that you don't know how to get to like Abraham, or speaking to a king and risking your life like Esther were huge and scary things.  Yes, God gave them victory, and if He calls us to those things He will be the one fighting the battle through us and YES we can do it with Him. But the huge and scary is not all He does, and I tend to fear so much that that is the type of thing He will always ask me to do, so I hide and ignore all His requests without really listening, assuming it will be too scary to even think about facing.

My God is a loving God who works in a million and a half different ways in the lives of us all. Along with the Davids, Abrahams and Esthers are Elizabeths, Marys and Solomons.  God places dreams in you and I as well.  Big, huge, beautiful dreams. Yes they can still be scary, just not in that 'grab a sword and head into battle' way.  We are creatures of structure and comfort, and anytime you are brought out of your comfort zone you shake a little in the fear of the unknown, the butterflies of excitement and doubt all mixed together inside. Jumping for joy and anticipation while being sick from the suspense are familiar feelings for me and I'm sure I'm not alone.  Listen to the things in your heart.  Don't push down the dream that doesn't seem to go away.  God is speaking to you through His Spirit.  He is guiding you in the ways that He wants you, specifically you, to shine His light in this dark world.  No bushel hiding allowed.

He's taken me through scary hard places before and I've got the inward scars to prove it.  He will take me to those places again in this life, I'm sure, and I'll dread the onset and fight it along the way. But I pray I will quickly remember His familiar comfort like I did in the past, and have full view of the place I'm in now and submit to His journey.  Some of you have already gone through this and know exactly what I'm talking about, or are going there now and are in the midst of the tumultuous emotions between fear and security.  For those who may not have been there yet, I quite possibly just freaked you out and now you're running in the opposite direction or are in your bed with covers pulled high :)

I could spend hours sharing why you should come out from hiding, but for now I'll pass along the words the angel of the Lord shares over and over again as he appears to others just like us, "Do not fear, do not be afraid."  Listen to that still small voice, and dream.

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