I like to dream big, GIANT dreams, and I’m competitive! From a young age, I pursued big goals and would even catch myself hearing of someone else’s achievements wanting to be more successful than them. That's the ugly truth about me. Serving MY dreams and MY plans is one of the battles I fight!
Keep reading if you can relate...
Even though I'm tempted daily to want to chase MY big dreams and do thing MY way instead of God's, Jesus has my heart and helps me fight my battles! He convicts me in order to help me, not because dreaming big is wrong, but because ANYTHING that we love or serve more than God becomes an idol that needs to fall!
Big dreams were trying to take over the place of God in my heart.
Major conviction time: The funeral of arguably the greatest evangelist of all time, Billy Graham, was on March 2, 2018. I remember hearing about the funeral and thinking, “Wow, THAT is the kind of impact I want to make. I want to tell BILLIONS of people about the love of Jesus!” And yes y’all, even good, big dreams like this can become an idol! AN IDOL IS SEEKING MEANING AND FULFILLMENT IN ANYTHING OTHER THAN JESUS! (John 15:4-5 & Matt. 6:21-23)
During the funeral, I heard a story of a volunteer Sunday school teacher named Edward Kimball. His goal was to be intentional and share the love and truth of Jesus with every child who walked into the classroom. Because of Kimball’s small dream, one of the kids named Dwight L. Moody decided to make Jesus his Lord and Savior (Look him up and you’ll be blown away). Moody started sharing the Gospel and someone who heard Moody ended up sharing the Gospel with Billy Graham.
Imagine if that volunteer Sunday school teacher was so focused on HIS big dreams that he didn’t dream small enough to intentionally share the Gospel with every student?!
When one seed is planted, it can grow into a tree with fruit. Each fruit contains seeds that can be planted and grow into more trees, and the cycle continues! Every seed, every interaction, every act of service is important.
There is a song called “Dream Small” by Josh Wilson. The chorus goes, “Dream small! Don’t bother like you’ve gotta do it all. Just let Jesus use you where you are, one day at a time. Live well, loving God and others as yourself. Find little ways where only you can help. With His great love, a tiny rock can make a giant fall, five loaves and two fishes could feed them all. So dream small.”
Here are some of the ways Josh Wilson writes we dream small:
A mama singing songs about the Lord
A dad spending family time the world says he cannot afford
Visiting a widow down the street
Dancing on a Friday with your friend with special needs
A pastor at a tiny church spending forty years loving on the broken and the hurt
That line about the pastor really hit home for me. I’m currently in tears because two of the greatest influences in my life were a man named Chuck Baker and his wife, Donna Baker. Donna was my nanny for 8 years. My mom worked from home but hired Donna to help out with taking care of my brother and me. I spent every day with Donna and saw Chuck often. They were basically my grandparents. Donna taught me so much about Jesus from a young age, and the way she lived out her faith has eternally impacted me. Chuck has eternally impacted me too! A few years ago, he had a stroke. I remember he was so joyful in the ICU that one of the nurses decided to make Jesus her Lord and Savior of her life. WOW.
Chuck passed away a few weeks ago from COVID. It was so heartbreaking, yet his funeral (just like Billy Graham’s) reminded me the importance of dreaming small. Chuck and Donna lived in a small home in rural East Tennessee. They didn’t use social media, didn’t drive a fancy car or care about which luxury vacation they would go on next. It would be easy to doubt the impact that kind of life could make since our culture is all about doing it all and having it all. But Chuck was and Donna is countercultural.
At Chuck’s funeral, well-known people spoke and shared the impact Chuck made in their lives. He and Donna planted churches all around the country that are thriving and bringing so many people to the Lord. One of the speakers described Chuck as a “humble giant in the Kingdom of God.”
Not one of you reading this probably knew who Chuck Baker was, but you might have been indirectly impacted by him because of his willingness to humble himself and place Jesus on the throne of his heart instead of success and wealth. When we get to heaven, I guarantee you we will know about Chuck Baker. He stored his treasure there instead of on earth.
Again, it’s not wrong to be successful or have wealth. I mean, I’m a business coach for goodness sakes!
It’s not wrong until we start putting our big goals, big dreams before God and HIS big dreams for us!
When Chuck was in an ambulance on the hour-long drive to the ER, he wasn’t able to mutter any last words because of what the COVID did to his body. But, he hummed praise songs to minister to the emergency responders during the entire ride.
The last thing he ever did was to focus on the small dream, sharing the love of Jesus with just one person in the back of an ambulance. I doubt Chuck was praying he would be remembered during his last hours, but instead praying for the heart of that one person in the back of the ambulance with him.
So, now that tears are streaming down my face and I’m a mess, I’m asking myself: How can I dream small? Who can I be intentional with today? How can I align my dreams with God’s will?
I would encourage you to ask yourself the same thing! How can we be more like Chuck and Donna? :)
Let’s dream smaller together!
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