If you can dream it, you can do it

—Walt Disney

No one probably knows this any better than Walt Disney, who had a lifetime of dreams for himself and created many others for us.

He dreamed of producing animated films, and we have been entertained by the revolutionary advancements he made. He dreamed of building “a family park where parents and children could have fun—together,” and many of us have enjoyed them with our families. He dreamed of bringing full-color programming to television and we have spent thousands of hours mesmerized by its images.

Even though Walt never got to see and experience many of the fruits of his dreams or labor (similar to Moses and the Promised Land), he has impacted the lives of millions of people around the world and for generations to come.

All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.  

—Walt Disney

Is there something God placed in your heart long ago (or even recently) to accomplish which you haven’t pursued because you were afraid, you didn’t think was possible, someone told you “you couldn’t do” or you thought was too late? Where is that dream today? Is it sitting somewhere deep within your heart only coming to mind in those certain moments or when you read an article imploring you to follow your dream?

We all have (or had) them, many of which we have discounted or pushed into “Fantasyland” or “Tomorrowland” rather than the top of our “pursue” (to do) list. God made each of us uniquely for a purpose, his purpose. However, many of us never realize that goal because we don’t have the confidence or put the time in to focus on it. 

How disappointing it must be for the One who gave us those dreams, with the abilities to match.

In January 2010, CNNMoney.com reported, “fewer than half of U.S. workers are satisfied with their jobs, the lowest since record-keeping began 22 years ago.” 

I wonder why this is. Are we pursuing the wrong objective (money, fame, popularity, status), trying to go after what others are doing (or telling us to do), or just accepting second best rather than following what our heart tells us? 

We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).

Understandably, many are blessed to even have a job nowadays (and pay the bills), however, beyond that, what are we doing to further our greater purpose?

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart (Jeremiah 1:5).

How can we expect satisfaction with ourselves, our jobs and our lives if we aren’t willing to do what we were intended to? We are set apart because God made us that way, so why do we have the propensity to follow the “norm” and live unsatisfied lives?

The more you like yourself, the less you are like anyone else, which makes you unique.

—Walt Disney

This uniqueness is found by doing what we were called to do (not following others) for the purpose God specifically gave through a vision he placed in us, often through our dreams, be it a revelation or in our heart.

Gideon received encouragement and guidance through a dream of his enemy (Judges 7:9-13).

In the course of a couple of dreams, Joseph was told he was going to rise up and reign over his family (Genesis 37:7-10).

An angel reassured Joseph (Jesus’ father) in a dream to take Mary as his wife who was with child conceived by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:20).

Just as each of them received their “commission,” we too have been set apart in a similar way. Maybe we have ignored what we have heard, we don’t like the call we have been given, or we just don’t believe it.

Do you think Gideon was skeptical of being a “mighty warrior” when the Lord first appeared to him? He was told by the Lord to “go in the strength you have … I will be with you” (Judges 6:14-16).

Did Joseph receive rousing support and encouragement from what he dreamt? His brothers were jealous and hated him, almost killing him for it (Genesis 37:8-11).

Do you suppose Joseph had some reservations about taking Mary? He was planning on divorcing her quietly until the angel told him not to be afraid (Matthew 1:19-20).

Each of them was “set apart” for a specific purpose. When you receive a vision or direct commission from the Lord, there will be some trepidation, fear and doubt, but God works for the good of those who love him. And if we love him, we will believe and do what he has called us to.

We don’t necessarily need more “book” or “Bible” learning to figure it all out. We need faith and obedience to live out what we have already been given and know to be true.

When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionably.

Walt Disney

So, what do you do if you don’t know what your dream is?  Ask God. 

Spend time with him in prayer and his Word to discover that specific purpose he set you apart for. Dream big, don’t settle for anything less. It is often something that seems so outrageous only God can make it happen. Don’t allow fear to hinder you or others to discourage you from pursuing what God called you to do. 

We all have a choice to pursue the dream or not. However, if we choose not to, we can’t blame anyone but ourselves for not reaching the heights and accomplishments we were set apart for.

I wonder where we would all be if Walt never pursued his dreams.

The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.

Walt Disney

 

Cliff Young is a contributing writer to Sandlot Stories (ARose Books), as well as the monthly column, "He Said-She Said," in Crosswalk.com's Singles Channel.  An architect and former youth worker, he now works with Christian musicians and consults for a number of Christian ministries. Got feedback?  Send your comments and questions to cydmg@yahoo.com.