“Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let your hands not be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.” -Ecclesiastes 11:6 (NIV)
I’m a dreamer. Not just the kind of dreamer everyone loves who coordinates memory-making events and trips, but the maddening kind of dreamer who prepares for unforeseen circumstances that almost always remain unseen. Perhaps fault for that lies in the girl I once was who spent hours on end reading and imagining herself as different book characters, essentially creating her own little world in her head. The girl who eventually transformed into a woman who has the utmost fun schemin’ and dreamin’, all the while existing in a space where it seems to onlookers that more doesn’t manifest than does.
“How risky is it to be ‘scatter-brained,’ ‘all over the place,’ and ‘extra’” (some of the phrases I recurrently hear myself described as), you wonder? “How risky is it not to be,” I wonder back. The truth is, dreaming is dangerous. That’s why it takes grit, austerity, and distance from the crowd. Though seemingly puerile, dreaming actually requires immense maturity – strength to obey your faith and your gut and be okay with that obedience making you look stupid for a time. It requires tough skin – comfort being doubted and labeled embarrassing names. And it requires a willingness to be heartbroken, faith to endure seasons that are all sow and no harvest, and courage to SCATTER and FORGET.
For you who find yourselves living life as anything less than big dreamers – as bitter disbelievers or persons too afraid to get off the fence and pick a side – I’ve outlined three steps you should take to activate your dream state:
1. Search the Word for 15 Scriptures that give guarantee. Then, write a journal to God about each one. One of the struggles of people who wish they could dream is fear and reluctance caused by focusing on the possibility that a dream may not manifest. Sure, it may, but people who find themselves in this situation have difficulty paying attention to positive probability, instead focusing on negative what if’s. Their excuse for not dreaming is that there’s no guarantee their dreams will actually come true. Oh, but there is! The Bible is chock full of assuring promises for those in doubt. Locating Scriptures written specifically for this season’s uncertain you and recording your thoughts and feelings to God about those Scriptures is just as therapeutic as it is spiritually arousing. As you begin to view the Word for what it truly is – God’s handwritten letter to your soul – you’ll become more grounded in the reality that your dreams are possible and will slowly start to catch yourself mid-trance. To jump start your journey to dreaming, I’ve found the first verse you should journal on:
“But be assured today that the LORD your God is the one who goes across ahead of you like a devouring fire. He will destroy them; he will subdue them before you. And you will drive them out and annihilate them quickly, as the LORD has promised you.” –Deuteronomy 9:3 (NIV)
2. Write a list of 25 of your dreams. Now this is where the scary work happens! In the first step, I asked you to seek scriptural confirmation that your dreams are possible. In this step, I’m asking you to dream. Despite fearful belief, dreaming itself is capable of restoring a fallen dreamer. Think about it, you wouldn’t have ever healed from the disappointment and humiliation of not being able to ride a bike if you hadn’t remounted your bike. This exercise is designed to create that same persistent, hopeful energy in you by reactivating the parts of your mind, soul, and heart needed to dream again. Think of it like re-oiling an abandoned machine! Anything unhoped for is incapable of being manifested.
3. Protect your pearls. Matthew 7:6 (NIV) comes with a warning! (“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.”) In other words, PROTECT YOUR DREAMS FROM PEOPLE WHO DON’T DREAM. Know that believing requires sacrifice. No longer can you afford to hang around people who limit what can happen to what already has. Stumbling blocks who respond “I’m confused, I thought you said you were going to wait or quit” when your thoughts start to expand. Stagnant Sams and Sallys who project criticism at you because of their discontentedness with their lives being stationary. And haters who get mad because you scatter seed while they sit in soil. In this new season, you must be willing to give up connection for chance, ‘likes’ for likelihood, and humans for hope! You must be willing to submit applications that were previously denied, send emails that were previously ignored, make calls that previously went unanswered, and re-take tests that you previously failed. You must be willing to scatter so many seeds (dreams) that you lose track of how many you planted until one day you walk into a tree like “Oh, I didn’t even notice that was growing!”
You MUST be willing to SCATTER and FORGET.