Steve Jobs saw the iPhone first in his dreams. Elon Musk had to create the Tesla in his mind first. And David had to think of the temple first before Salomon could build it.

None of the great philosophies, works of art or changes in society would be possible without someone thinking of it first.

Meaning and purpose drive humans to create. The wildest deeds are fueled by impossible dreams. Ending slavery, traveling to the moon and spreading the gospel by the 12.

Creation is fueled by a want to see your dreams become reality. Your vision justifies the long hours you spent on your project. The sleepless nights and the mulling over in your head. The things only you can see, the time only you will put in and the risk of failure.

 

Growing up

Dreaming of greatness is a treat of the young. Lack of experience and endless possibilities make for open minds. We see Forbes 30 under 30, YouTube millionaires with braces and Bieber and Kardashian discovered on social media.

Then we grow up. We get a wife and kids, maybe a house to top things up. We tried a few things and realized that life’s not a gift shop. The pushback is harder than expected. Fighting takes energy.

We get trapped in our jobs because the American dream is expensive. Two cars, a mortgage, and the student loans: it’s time to wake up, you gotta make money!

Throughout the daily hustle, the years keep piling on. Our dreams melt away until we forget about them. We look back at our dying dreams and ask ourselves: Was that it?

“The things I’ve accomplished, the money I’ve made and the toys I’ve bought. Was that worth it?”

 

The making and breaking

Purpose and dreams aren’t children’s talk. Their fulfillments are tattooed on our hearts. Even if we ignore them, they don’t go away.

We don’t act because we’re afraid. Fear of the workload, fear of failure and fear of stepping up. They hold us back and yet we know that we have to start.

We push it away until one day, our dreams die with us. Apathy robbed us of our destiny. We took our talents and hid them in the ground. Go ahead and read what happens to the servant who did that.

Where does it come from?

So where does this drive to create originate? Why do we have to fulfill our destiny and build a legacy?

Because we’re made in the image of God.

Look around you. The moon and the stars, the universe and the beauty of this world. It’s an executed design made of a dream, created out of nothing.

Before he spoke this world into existence, God had it on his mind first to create us. Before we existed on this earth, we were first perceived in the mind of God.

Just as you and me, I can imagine God’s fascination with his thought. He imagined how we would be like and, since he made us free, what we would do.

God’s dream was to create and love his family. He is committed , and he put in the work to make it a reality.

Who would invest into their dream, build it out and then forsake it? Not with a labour of love, not when you do the thing you were born for.

Jobs loved beauty and Musk wants to populate Mars. Mother Theresa wanted to love the sick and Hudson Taylor wanted to see the gospel brought to China.

These heroes aren’t known for their random success but for the sacrifice they were willing to take to see their dreams become a reality.

 

Your dream

God made you to be like him. You can’t ignore your calling. A part of you will always be left wondering what if I tried? Creating is part of mankind’s DNA; he made us to build.

Crafting your dream is work but your fuel is the imitation of God himself. Our goal as believers is to be like Jesus.

Remember who the world was created through?

5 Comments

  1. Michael,
    I agree, passivity is the enemy of success.

    It would be interested in hearing your take on how to make your dream a reality. It is good to go for the dream, and you refer to the sacrifice of Hudson Taylor and others, but is there a sequence of steps you see or keys to success? Not there’s any one way or promise of accomplishment but there are different paths and approaches people have or can choose to act on. Are there specific sacrifices one should start with?

    In my opinion, prayer is the obvious place to start as it is God who will open or shut the doors we knock on. Without God’s interaction, will not the fulfillment of our dreams end up just as empty as the place we started (was Steve Jobs fulfilled by his legacy?). Jesus is the answer for our longings and the hope for which we hold to. With that being said, there are certainly patterns of success and we should be willing to learn from the principles enacted by others. What led to Mother Theresa’s amazing impact, what drove the success of Bill Gates?

    A plan is necessary. How do we formulate a plan which produces results?

  2. Thanks for your comment, Seth.

    I believe in having a plan. Actually, the older I get the more I value planning. It’s the mortar that keeps the vision alive. Without it, nothing will happen. A dream without execution is nothing but hot air.

    Paul was very strategic in his approach. He preached the gospel only in the big cities, where his words would have the highest impact because of the density of the people. He knew that his message would spread from there into the surrounding areas and villages.

    Everything starts with a vision. It’s the stuff we dream about, the things we want to see come into being. It’s what we need in the dark times when it all looks like failure and wasted time. Our dream will get us through that.

    However, our dream is not self-sustaining. It will die if left alone, leaving us frustrated and angry. I think we have to start somewhere. Once we’re going, we can keep on dreaming and once dreaming, we can keep on working.

    A strategy looks different for everyone. What I think all have in common is the need to chop up our big goal into small milestones. Our anxiety will kill us if we stare at the mountain ahead of us but if we reach the small goals, we have reason to celebrate.

    Also, a strategy can’t be too rigid. It needs wiggle-room to test things out and grace to see what works. We have to be willing to risk and be willing to fail. We have to be willing to put in the work, but we have to be honest enough to change direction if what we are doing isn’t working.

    Jobs wasn’t fulfilled most of his life. He build something amazing but he was estranged from his friends and family during that process. I think in order for our dream to be fulfilling, we have to be surrounded with people that we value more than our dreams.

  3. I really needed to read this.

    I’m a cartoonist. I’ve published several cartoon Gospel tracts, but that was over 20 years ago. Since then, I’ve been dreaming of creating and publishing a line of my Christian cartoons, but, that’s about it. The extent of my endeavors as a freelance cartoonist has been, largely, my dreaming of becoming a cartoonist.

    Here I am a 55 year old school teacher nearing retirement still dreaming about my ideal job as a professional cartoonist. Yet my fears have held be back. My lack of faith has kept me thinking, planning, researching, sketching, and doodling the years away, and not boldly producing what I’ve only dreamt about. Some might call it “analysis paralysis.” I may call it fear. Still others may call it since.

    Pray for me.

    Pray that I won’t give up on my dream.

    • Thanks for your honesty, brother.

      I’m afraid every single time I hit Publish in my blogging software. I want others to read my thoughts yet I’m afraid of what they might think.

      Putting our best work out there is difficult because we have nothing to fall back at. We can’t do better because we already gave our best shot.

      I think publishing our work is a calculated risk. It’s rare that absolutely no one likes our stuff so even if one person get impacted by our art, we made a difference in someone’s life. We have someone who wants to listen to us. And usually, this one person is not the only one who likes our art. There are probably a lot more. We only have to get it in front of the right audience.

  4. […] day gone by adds words to eternity, either good or bad. We can’t change the past and we can only dream of the future. The only impact we have is […]

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