October 21, 2013
Often when we are asked to consider new ideas or concepts by a teacher, we are given examples of familiar things to help us visualize and connect to the new idea. This morning I was reading from one of my favorite little gems, "God is in the Small Stuff" and the concept was presented that God wants us to experience joy and blessings in our life. With that statement, I began to ask myself to remember a time when I dreamed or wished for something and someone surprised me and made my dream come true. I remember many times when my mother was somehow able to imagine and surprise me with things I loved so much. The author encourages us to consider that God wants our wishes to become realities in even greater abundance. God wants us to imagine and dream wonderful things for those we love.
Do you remember years ago when basketball was first added to the Summer Olympic Games? Basketball coaches worked with Olympic officials to form an American team of prime athletes from the NBA and to choose the best coach for that team. I remember watching that year and was in awe of the power and beauty they possessed in the gifts they had as athletes. They came home as victors who had been givent he opportunity to live their dream for Olympic gold medals. Until that dream was created by the Summer Olympic organizers no one in the NBA had ever dreamed it for themselves. But standing on the podium surrounded by the American flag and wearing their medals, tears streamed down the cheeks of proud and joyfilled men.
So this morning, with that little seed of a visual memory and the pastor's suggestion, I lingered into something I would love for you to do this morning. Find the time to make a list of ten people beginning with family members, friends, others and finally yourself. Look at the first name on your list and wish something for them that you want to come true for them, something good in their life that will keep them or bring them to a stronger, closer walk in faith and will be a blessing to them, something they need and want to make their life easier or better. Wish for something that will bring them peace and joy or comfort and consolation or clarity of thought or complete recovery and healing. What do you dream for them? Write that one line of thought by their name for your eyes to see. Do the same for each person on the list. Keep this list near you and as you say your morning or evening prayers, ask God for each one if it is His will. We are encouraged to ask and it will be given. Are we asking for small things and hoping they will happen. Or are we taking a leap of faith and dreaming big and asking God to do amazing things for us.
Do not be afraid to dream big, very big. God has no limit to His powers and has promised us so many blessings and joy. I like dreaming big. It is easy for me to step into a world of "what if" and "wouldn't this be amazing?" because I spent a lifetime in a classroom with five and six year olds who had no problem stepping into a world beyond boxes, rules and limits. Within seconds they could transfer themselves into being anyone they wanted to be from "mommies and babies" to "Power Rangers". When you live in that amazing world for decades you find it "normal" to say, "Really? Are you serious? I can imagine anything I want for my marriage or my son and daughter or my friend who battles fibromyalgia or my church which is struggling to pay for an airconditioner? Really?"
Yes, really. We are encouraged to think carefully about our visions, our needs, our wishes and dreams and THEN to pray earnestly about them asking for them, if it is God's will. Now, not all our ideas are going to be the best of ideas. As my mother would say to my often creative ideas, "That one's a little scatterbrained, Peg, if you ask me." She was my voice of reason while my creative, playful mind went running amuk joyfully.
Over the years, I have surrendered to more serious thought and silenced that voice of dreams. I have coaxed myself into being a more reasonable person...... until this morning. I have been given license by a wonderful pastor/author to make a list of wishes, hopes or dreams for ten people whom I care about and I am number ten. I am so excited. I can not tell you how excited I am! I am getting a piece of paper and a pen and I am going to get busy in that corner of my creative and joyfilled mind. God wants us to fill joy and excitement about our faith! When you think of your morning prayers or time in devotions what expression is on your face? Some folks walk into church so long faced and "down in the mouth" that you would think Grandma had just given them a dose of cod liver oil....(I vaguely remember that threat from my tiny German grandmother.)
What if........what if......we surrendered our doubts and released them like balloons drifting into a field of blue sky? What if we believed what others tell us about God wanting good things for us? What if God truly wants blessings for us in our lives, so good in fact that His dreams for us are bigger and greater than our own? I have witnessed it in my own life. Those of you who have known me for ten years and longer know what a huge transformation I have been through in every single aspect of my life. The person I once knew as "me" has been brought to a place of such joy and peace and love. Now notice, it has taken ten years. I am not believing God often uses the "poof" method and often chooses to let magnificent gifts and blessings evolve slowly as we adjust to the changes, but Oh! what gifts they are! What blessings they are! I can only believe I was on many peoples "wish list for blessings". I am nothing special. I am a sinner. I am a merry go round of faith. I am a stumbler and faller....(If there is such a thing.) God has showered me with blessings and I am joyfilled this morning.
Just try it. All of you who are reading my thoughts this morning, please, try it and let me know in a message how you feel about our chance to imagine and dream BIG!. Go find a piece of paper and a pen. Write down the list of all who come to mind and try to reduce it to a list of ten and YOU are number 10. As you think of their names and imagine their faces what is your dream or hope for them? Write it down! I am serious! When you finish ask God to hear your prayer of blessing requests for others and to grant your prayer requests, if it is His will. I can only imagine......I can only imagine.....how remarkable it will be for you to see God's gifts unfold for others and for you!
Dear Heavenly Father,
We often come to you with praise and with a list of concerns for others and ourselves but we rarely consider asking you for wonderful dreams turned into blessings. As we prepare our list, Dear God, present those names to us whom we can pray for and guide us as we form dreams for each one. And dear Lord, if it be Your will, in your own time.....make these dreams turn into wonderful blessings. We have been taught and we believe you want great things for your children as we draw closer in faith to you each day.
All praise and glory to you dear Heavenly Father!
In Jesus Name,