We have this magnet on our refrigerator, and it is a constant reminder to me that the future I have always dreamed of starts with today.
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined.” - Henry David Thoreau
What a challenging quote that is! I don’t want to get to the end of my life with regrets and questions of “what if?” But this is often easier said than done. We can get so caught up in the routine and busyness of the every day, that we forget to take steps toward the dreams we long for. We have difficulty seeing the forest through the trees, as they say.
Sometimes as Christians I think we tend to take a passive approach when it comes to our dreams. We sometimes say, “Well, if it is God’s will, then it will happen.” And while I do believe that God can just make things happen in our lives (He is God, after all), I also think that he wants us to actively pursue the dreams he has placed in our hearts. We were not created to just live our lives passively with a “whatever happens, happens” mentality.
In Matthew 7:7-8 Jesus said, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”
Do you notice all those verbs there? The ones that are prompting us to do something? Ask, seek, knock. Those are anything but passive.
Another excuse we may use is “Well, I only want to do what God wants me to do, I don’t want to pursue my own dreams, only his.” Now, don’t get me wrong here, there is nothing wrong with that last sentence! I think that same way. I don’t want to just pursue what I want just because I want to. Here is where we often make the mistake though…we often ignore our dreams because of this mindset. BUT I believe that when we are truly living for God, and putting him first in our lives, he is the one who gives us those dreams. He aligns our dreams with his. Those are dreams and desires that he placed within us. So why, then, would we ignore them?
As I am typing all of this out, it is also a little pep talk for myself. So I am right here with you needing to be reminded of these words as well.
Pursuing our dreams can be terrifying sometimes. But it is a fear that is definitely worth facing! I encourage you…write your dreams down, pray about them, ask God for help (and make sure they line up with his will for your life), and then take the first step toward living that dream. And don’t think small…think BIG! You are capable of way more than you think (especially when you’re relying on God, he can help you do anything).
So, what are the dreams you have that you want to start living toward today? Maybe you want to become debt-free, get healthy, enter a new career, write a book, start a family, go on a missions trip, get your degree, or change the world…the possibilities are endless. Whatever your dreams may be, big or small, I encourage you…don’t ignore them. Start living the life you’ve imagined.
[This is also why I think goal setting is so important. It will help you so much if you realize your dreams and then turn those dreams into goals and start working toward them. So, if you haven’t set goals for yourself this year already, I encourage you to. If you need some help or inspiration for this, Lara Casey’s blog series on goal setting is amazing!]