Friday, August 30, 2013

Dreams & Nightmares

One of the books I am finishing up this week is Daring Greatlyby Brene Brown.  In this work she continues her breakthrough research findings on the issues of shame and vulnerability and how they impact our families, schools, churches, corporations and communities in general.

Today I was struck with these two words:


Let's start dreaming....
If we are people who are going to fully live into the lives we believe God is calling us to, we must be willing to face and embrace His dreams and visions for our lives.  We must be willing to remember that God's call is one of transformation.  Starting with our first taste of grace, God's design is nothing short of extraordinary change.  And it doesn't stop when we "accept" him!  It's a life of ongoing, radical, transformation.

Now most of us would readily agree with that statement, but the problem is, many of us have stopped dreaming with God.  We've lost sight of God's big visions and dreams for a renewed life, a healed marriage, a deliverance from addiction, or even things like water for the WHOLE world!  

In many ways, our world, our culture, and even the message of our churches  has squashed our passion to dream with God - and by dream I mean really big, bold, audacious dreams - dreams worthy to bear the name of Christ and the radical life of transformation He offers us!

That being said, I know I am a victim of this small dream mentality, and while I don't know yet what those new big dreams may be, I pray God helps me recapture a capacity to dream in really big, transformative ways with Him!

And now nightmares....
Here's the problem:  The capacity to dream in really big ways also requires a willingness to be vulnerable and face and embrace the fears of our lives.  It's impossible to really dream if we aren't also willing to talk about what we are really scared of.

In fact, maybe this is actually the key to dreaming.   After all, how can we dream about a restored marriage if we aren't also willing to talk about our fear that it's all going to come crashing down and end tomorrow?!  How can we hope for deliverance from our addiction if we aren't willing to admit that we are afraid it will always control us?  How can we talk about bringing water to the whole world without also acknowledging the horrible greed that exists in the world and our fears that things will never really change?!

But we don't like or want to talk about any of that, because it's not hopeful.  After all, aren't we supposed to be people of hope?!?

Maybe this is where the real breakthrough has come for me.  If we are going to be people of true hope, we must be willing to bring our nightmares out into the light, so hope has a chance to shine.  Otherwise, we just keep them in the dark and hope never has a chance to begin it's transformative work!  So while I want to be a person who dreams really big, transformative dreams with God, I recognize that I must be willing to face and embrace some fears first.  It's impossible to dream if I'm not willing to also acknowledge my nightmares.

So, what are you afraid of??

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Take a New Grip

So after a couple of weeks away with the family, I return and one of the first passages I read back in the real world contains Hebrews 12:12, "So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees."  

I have had several weeks of attempting to decompress, now it's time to get after the soaking with diligence.  That almost seems like an oxymoron, but I can sense a shift happening within me - one in which I am drawn to longer periods of reading.  Time for my heart to notice various points of interest and take notes on them, wondering how they might all tie in together at some point, but knowing that for now, I am simply supposed to make observations.  

So I am taking a new grip - which I trust won't turn into a new gripe!