“Some people won’t sail the sea ‘cause they’re safer on land, to follow what’s written, but I’d follow you to the great unknown, off to a world we call our own …“ (“Tightrope” from The Greatest Showman)
When I was twenty, I was bursting at the seams with ideas, dreams, hopes, and plans. The future held a million possibilities, and I wanted to try them all. My head spun with the practicalities of making them happen, but I loved to consider all the places that God could take me if He so chose. And I fully believed that I was the type of person who would follow Him to the ends of the earth if that’s where He wanted me to go.
And now I’m thirty. And I’ve followed some of my dreams and seen them come true. Life is sweet with a cozy house, a secure job with a nice salary, and people whom I love all around me. So is that it? Am I now set for the next thirty years? Isn’t it a good thing to be content with what God has given me?
Or are there more dreams lying dormant in my heart that I’m afraid to even speak of? Am I ignoring the beckoning call that could take me on the next great adventure because I’m just too afraid of another change?
Dreams don’t necessarily come with a safety net. There’s no guarantee that sadness won’t be involved, because in order to pursue one thing, you have to leave another thing behind – and when you love something and someones greatly, it hurts to say good-bye.
I should know. I’ve done it so very many times before. That’s probably why I shrink away from the thought of having to do it again. I wrestle with the thought, knowing that there is no pressing need for me to go after something else. Why not just stick with what’s easier, what’s safer, what’s predictable?
Because I also know from past experience that sometimes God has beautiful things in store for us down the road that is less traveled.
It’s the ones who take the greatest risks who see the greatest results.
It’s the people who dare to dream who can change the world.
Because they choose to lift their eyes off of what is and they start looking toward what could be. And then they start moving in that direction, because they just don’t want a life without it. And as their passion for that dream grows, they gain more and more dedication to seeing it come true – until it does.
At the end of the day, I have to ask myself the hard questions – “Am I willing to practice what I preach? Am I able to remember that excited 23-year old so ready to let her feet go beautifully on a mission for God? Can I put up with a little discomfort, a little homesickness, and a little change in order to see something big and beautiful happen?”
I’ve said it before and I know it to be true – that dreams don’t come true until we take a risk. I’ve taken a lot of risks in the past and seen God work in truly lovely ways through them. I know that if He stirs the embers, He’ll keep the fire going with His mighty strength until His purposes are accomplished.
So I bend my knee to pray in earnest that God would infuse my heart once again with His dreams. I pray that my heart would be so in tune with His that I would recognize the clarion call to move when He desires me to move. I ask that I might not love comfort and security so much that I’m refusing to see how God might want to use me next. I also ask that I not take a step forward just because perhaps I’m restless and wanting a change of scenery.
It’s not like I’m going to be leaving town next month or anything sudden. I simply want to hold my future plans with open hands – not clinging to my idea of what the next few years should look like. I want to be ready to surrender to God’s plans if He puts that dream in my heart and it means moving forward. It’s a little frightening to think of all the unknown – but at the same time, it’s also exhilarating to imagine all the possibilities that go along with it.
He’s brought me this far on my journey of faith – I have no doubt that He will continue to lead me in faithfulness, and that His plans are vastly more delightful than my own.
I simply have to trust Him more than my carefully structured plans and routines – and allow myself to dream the dream He’s put in my heart.
He’ll always take me on an adventure that comes with a breathtaking view.