“Teach us, O Lord, the disciplines of patience, for to wait is often harder than to work.” ~ Peter Marshall
The defining difference between someone pursuing their dream and someone just dreaming is revealed in the things they do day after day. You know people who are “dreamers”. They love to talk about what they are going to do but never seem to get around to doing anything about it. In order for a dream to come true, you must have a clear vision and a disciplined plan.
Before you can go anywhere, you need to understand what it’s going to take to get there. You have to consider the cost. An honest assessment of all your resources including your time, talent and treasure is essential to getting clear perspective on your “starting point”. John C. Maxwell has a very helpful book called “Put Your Dream to the Test” where he has you ask yourself 10 simple questions about your dream. These are practical questions that will help you identify your passion, purpose and pathway for pursuing your dream. Did you notice all those “p’s”?…well here’s one more, “patience”.
Think of the analogy of a farmer when you consider how you’re going to frame your daily activity in the context of a future goal. Farmers always have the harvest in mind. It gives them perspective for the hoeing or weeding they may be doing today. It’s great to have passion, purpose and a pathway…but if you don’t have patience, you’ll give up a day too soon. Patience is the discipline you need to go the extra mile and endure another day. Think of the example of a farmer to help you stay patient and keep your daily activity in the context of your dream.
Dear brothers and sisters, be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return. Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen. (James 5:7 NLT)
Not only does this passage remind us of the example of a farmer but it also reminds us about having an eternal perspective. It’s great to dream big and pursue your dreams, but do your dreams align with God’s plan and purpose for your life? Our greatest fulfillment comes from pursuing the dreams that God has stirred in our hearts and when He is in it, your dreams will come true.
It’s perfectly fine to be a dreamer. We need to dream big and encourage others to dream big too. But just don’t talk about your dreams. A farmer who only talks about what he’s going to harvest but doesn’t tend to his fields today is a foolish farmer. The one who tills the soil, pulls weeds and plants some seeds as he talks about his dream will see it happen. Start pursuing your dream today by taking steps in the right direction. And remember…be patient.