I went shopping last week at Publix on an empty stomach. You know what I’m talking about. Everything sounded good. I said, “Oh I’ll definitely eat that. Mmm that would be delicious for dinner! Yeah, I’ll eat all of that in two days. ” Now I’m stuck with a couple of random cans of okra and green beans and a box of Fig Newtons. Hopefully my church will have a potluck dinner soon. That’s why you don’t go shopping on an empty stomach.
I don’t think you should dream on an empty stomach either. We can be ambitious and want to make a big difference in the world, and even feel the God pushing us in directions, but there’s a realism that we have to hold onto as well.
Dreams take patience.
I’m all for reaching for the stars and letting your imagination run wild, but if you dream without factoring in waiting time, you’re going to have a pantry full of unwanted groceries.
Dreaming without patience leads to frustration, and even anger towards your ambitious self. You get frustrated that you are not farther along, or angry with yourself because you think you’ve failed. When really you probably haven’t failed, you just haven’t factored in the waiting that goes along with dreaming.
Dreams die out so quickly because we don’t combine then with patience. We give up because dreams don’t grow fast enough. We see the potential in ourselves for greater things, but we don’t have it yet so we think we missed it, or that we didn’t work hard enough, or that God changed his mind.
Dreams take patience.
If you want to be a dreamer, you’ve got to be someone who is willing to wait. Sure, some people make it look easy and accomplish some impressive feats quickly, but that doesn’t mean that you are not right where you’re supposed to be.
Here’s an excerpt from Jon Acuff’s book Quitter that I really liked. He was talking about how Bono visited Ethiopia when he was around 25 years old, and how Bono wanted to start helping immediately, but he had to wait.
“The young, rising start was not ready to start his work with One, the charity organization, in 1985. He was not yet a philanthropist interacting with people like Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela. He was an up-and-coming musician who needed to grow before he could actually step into his calling. Still, it was there. And in the 90s he and his calling were reunited for good.
Your dream might not be as extreme as Bono’s, but like him you may meet yours before you’re ready to run after it.”
Dreams take patience. If God has given you a dream, don’t give up on it just because you feel like it’s taking forever. If we want to dream, we’ve got to be willing to wait.