When we were young we were filled with dreams and those dreams defined us. We were not afraid to imagine beyond the boundaries of space and time because the world had not yet shown us its limits. As we grew older, the boundaries of reality began to compress these hopes and aspirations under the disparaging guise of the rules and laws of the real world. Our dreams started to conform to the reality we were shown and our discontent grew into this claustrophobic idea that our dreams could only be understood under the terms of what the world told us was possible. Our youthful ambitions finally just gave up and gave way; our hopes we began to acquiesce and our dreams fell to the ground to become the dust under our feet.
What is so wrong with dreaming big?
I have to wonder about the idea of creation. I know there are arguments stacked upon arguments about the creation of the earth and how God did it and how long it took him. Let me be completely honest and tell you those sort of questions don’t concern me as far as my understanding goes. But let’s consider some of the very basic information. Consider the vastness of our universe, the number of stars, the different forces acting in different ways just to hold the universe together. The amount of complexity, beauty and perfection just screams and begs for us to see it as more than just a happy accident. The Apostle Paul says something to this effect in his letter to the Roman church (Romans 1:20). What’s even more interesting is that out of all that space out there we still have the only planet that can sustain life.
When God created the heavens and the earth and everything in them he created them with a specific function for them to carry out. When he was done with each phase of creation he calls it good. The land, the plants, the sea, the bird, the fish, the clouds in the sky all created for a specific reason and they were good. The word in Hebrew is tov and it means “good”.Then he created man and woman and calls it very good. The intricacies of the human body alone are enough to make you wonder just who could design something just so perfect. Down to some of the most bizarre of details like eyelashes to keep things out of our eyes and earwax to keep dirty and things out of our ears. Think about the human brain and the complexity of the personality and just how different everyone you know is. We have the ability to recall things, we have memory. It’s just so amazing to me to think about it. As the Psalmist says, we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14).
I think that God has a perfect imagination.
We don’t know the how or why of creation for certain but we know that from the beginning God, in his infinite everything, imagined creation and spoke it into existence.
We were part of God’s dream for creation. He created us with a much more limited ability to imagine and create though. I see this every day in the work of my artist friends and in the words of my poet friends. But it’s so much bigger than that. After the Fall in Genesis 3 the first people were expelled from the garden of Eden. Sin entered the world and sin created doubt. Doubt, I’m convinced, is one of the greatest sins next to pride. While pride tells us to seek ourselves rather than God. Doubt tells us God can’t do something, it’s too much to ask and it tells us we are nothing. It tells us our dreams and our aspirations, if properly driven and motivated, are not ever going to be realized. It tells us it’s not worth trying.
But I think that’s all wrong. Because when man fell God already had a plan to redeem his creation. Paul said to his letter to the church in Ephesus:
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. (Ephesians 1:7-10 ESV)
A plan to unite all things in heaven and on earth? The word in Greek also means “task” or “something that requires management or stewardship”. Management and stewardship are active processes, things someone continually does.
A good friend of mine tells me that when he dreams he dreams big. I think that’s amazing. Honestly, I don’t know how to dream big myself. My dreams come to me in my sleep and they feed my aspirations in life. Sometimes they ruin my life. I believe, though, that I can rely on God for anything because, though on a much larger scale, God’s plans are big and I fit in there somehow. So, I ask myself why I let my dreams be so small? Is all that I want really contained within the schemes of academia? Do I want to be a pastor in a church and try to use my story to bring people to God’s story? Yes. Those are big dreams in themselves, perhaps the biggest because it’s God’s biggest plan that everyone become part of his story. That is my dream.
But you can get there many ways. Pastor, professor or musician, the dream is the same. It’s how you get there. It’s what you dream.
My dream is to turn the world upside down. What’s yours?