“The day we stop dreaming is the day we start dying. When imagination is sacrificed on the altar of logic, God is robbed of the glory that rightfully belongs to Him. In fact, the death of a dream is often a subtle form of idolatry. We lose faith in the God who gave us the big dream and settle for a small dream that we can accomplish without His help. We go after dreams that don’t require divine intervention. We go after dreams that don’t require prayer. And the God who is able to do immeasurably more than all our right brain can imagine is supplanted by a god- lowercase g- who fits within the logical constraints we have left for him to inhabit.”- Pastor Mark Batterson from The Circle Maker
Dear Dreams and Imagination,
It’s been awhile since we’ve spoken. Like really spoken. We’ve had casual conversations over the years, but the last time that I really listened to you? I can’t remember when. It’s just that I’m so busy, you know? Now we have 5 kids and we have gone through struggles and this adulting thing is just so hard! If you didn’t know, I’m in school now…again! Trying to become a school administrator. Yep! It’s hard trying to balance that with family life with work life with church work life, but in order for us to get anywhere close to where we need to be, I have to keep pressing for higher positions. 5 kids aren’t gonna feed themselves.
What’s that you say? Joy? In what I do, you mean? Yeah, I love what I get to do. The students are all amazing, even if they can’t see it yet. I have the usual jerks and turds in my classes, but nothing that keeps me down for long. In my schooling, I’m learning to much about school leadership that it is causing me to look at my own building leaders differently. The things that we do at church are good things. I just wish we had more time to devote to it all. And I love my family. You know that intimately. I never imagined a family like this, but I always did imagine that I would have a family to love and call my own.
Do you remember, Imagination, all of those dreams that we used to have about music? Like, before all of this? Where I would major in music and move to Nashville and become this big music sensation? Or even the dreams of trying out for the Voice or American Idol or America’s Got Talent? Man, I can still feel the lights and hear the crowd getting into the music that we created together! Or what about the dreams where I owned a white tiger and lived in a big house and had no worries at all, except for what we were gonna do that day? Those were good times. Oh! How about the dreams where I was a young pastor, and my wife and I were doing so many great things in our church that it grew because people felt loved and accepted?
You know? Sometimes, some of those dreams haunt me. Like, I can see them so clearly in my head that I wonder what I’m actually doing with my life. Sometimes I feel so sad when I think about them. It’s like I let you down. Like I let me down. I don’t know, man. I mean, now I want to write music that gets performed in churches. I don’t have to make millions off of them, but, dude, I KNOW that I can write some good, important music that can lift God higher. And while that’s a shift to a dream that we had together, I think the impact of it goes much deeper than the type of songs that I wanted to sing in my youth. Maybe I should have listened to you, though. But I listened to the fear. Yeah, the same fear that has been my companion since the time I discovered you. And yeah, I’ve quit writing music so many times over my life, because I’ve been so frustrated with lack of opportunities to use it, or get it heard. I’ve thought, who cares?
But now I know God cares. You care. And so I care.
And now, I think you’re talking to me again. Something about writing books? You’ve spoken to a few people for me about this very thing. God must speak to you, and then you speak to me. Is that how it works? But man, I don’t know even what to write a book about! Now I have this desire. I won’t doubt it. I’ll just go along with it and believe in it. That will make God happy. That will make you happy. And generally, when I follow after where you two lead me, I end up pretty happy as well.
I guess what I’m trying to say to you is that I’m sorry. I’m 37 years old and I’ve watched life pass me by. I haven’t yet gone after anything that we have discussed in life. I don’t know how to even begin, but I promise you that I will find a way to start. Don’t quit talking to me this time. I promise to listen because I’m learning that when I don’t trust what God tells you to tell me, I rob Him of the opportunity to be God and do God-sized things.
And I desperately need to see God-sized things in my life. I crave it. And sometimes I feel I’m so close to them. And GOSH, I want the kind of things that scare me, but not in the fear-sense. I want things to big that looking at them drives me to my knees out of total reliance on God to accomplish them. That is the stuff worth living for! Can we get there?
It’s been good talking to you again, my old friend. Now, let’s get some things done. I love you, bro.