Wednesday, August 15, 2007

What is a Dream?!- Part 2

In Expectation of a Harvest

Having a Dream involves two components: the dream itself and the results of having a dream. The Dream itself is your gift to the world, sometimes literally. Think of Joseph in the Old Testament- the fulfillment of his dream would involve his brothers "bowing" to him in honor and in need of the surplus grain that he ruled over, and was even responsible for its existence. If Joseph hadn't interpreted the dream, and been put in the position to be second in command over the land and over the process of reaping and storing the grain- there would have been no surplus to share with the world, and especially, to share with his own family. It all started with a dream- his- and with the interpretation of a dream, later.

The dream itself should be big enough that it touches the world in some way (ie. running an orphanage, speaking hope to the captives, running a business that will employ thousands). The second part of having a dream is the fuel it injects into your life, the wind beneath your wings (sing it, Bette Midler!), the breeze that lifts your sails and inspires you to get up every day and face mountains when you have to. And with guts (I could say " courageously" but that sounds more lofty than the actual guts you need)- and with guts, say "Be gone" to those mountains. Then proceed doing the work of clean up- because when mountains crumble before you there's usually a little clean up to do!

Years ago, back in some dark days of my life when having a dream was pretty much all I had, circumstances were so tight, literally, and resources so limited that I needed more than a dream- I needed provision for the day in order to maintain the dream for tomorrow. I remember being challenged by one of the many inspirational books I was reading at that time.
( I read a lot- it is my faith fuel! I read a lot of Christian self-help books, books written by Life Coaches and by leaders who have persevered through tough times). I had little income coming in during that time, my husband was not pastoring anymore and was trying to run a small remodeling business, and we were not a pretty sight, emotionally. Our hopes were prime ingredients for a good wine: they were crushed!

But as I read this one book, I felt challenged to write down what I would do with the harvest when my dreams were coming true. I felt led to take a figure of a million dollars a year, and write down what I would do with it. I first wrote "tithe ten percent" then increased it to 20%. That's easy. Then I wrote "buy a home to live in, and spread out in" because we were living in a tiny cottage with two children. Then I paused. What else? I wrote "Fund an orphanage" because I knew someone who wanted to run an orphanage someday. But that's as far as I got. I had so much harvest- in my dream- but no plans to utilize it, disperse it, grow it, and benefit from it.

As long as we can't think of what to do with a big harvest, that would be honoring to God, then we have no reason to pursue a harvest. And if we have no reason for a big harvest, we have no motivation to put our hand to the plow and get started on the process of cultivating, sowing, watering, and then reaping a harvest. What for? We have no big barn prepared to properly store the harvest and from which we can share it, disperse it, maintain it. We have no reason to have a dream if there is no harvest in mind. There would be no gift to the world- without a dream- and there would be no fuel for living an inspired life- a life God breathes into.

The passage of 1 Cor. 9: 3-14 talks about reaping from the spiritual task of sowing- and how its okay to reap materially in doing a "spiritual" task such as preaching the word. When you have a dream, your dream is a gift to the world- we've established that. But many do not think they can partake of the by-product of having a dream: the enthusiasm, the joy it gives, the inspiration and motivation that having a dream provides for your life.

"Assuredly it is written for our sakes, because the plowman ought to plow in hope, and the thresher ought to thresh in expectation of partaking of the harvest." 2 Cor 9:10 Ampl

When you're preparing to bring your dream to the world- even if your dream has died several times, God has resurrected it and it's now time to give birth to it- you will partake of the joy of seeing it realized. And if your dream is still in the transition stage of coming about, then even more so- be expectant of the harvest! Walk about with a smile of amazement on your face because you "see" it ahead. Let people ask you, "What's going on with you?"

Tell them, "I'm expecting a harvest- because I have a dream."


hopelssromantic said...

This is a great thing you are doing! I love your blog. I have learned volumes by just reading the entries for this week. I am going to bookmark your blog for future reference. Thanks for inviting me and encouraging me to keep the flame of my dream burning even though the world is full of people in the bucket brigade. Susan

Kathy said...

Lauren, what an inspiring post! It is so true that if you can't visualize or stamp reality on the harvest, it muddies the goal to begin with. I love your wine analogy too--crushed hopes sweeten the reward in the long run, don't they? You're a blessing.