I am a deeply analytical thinker. Sometimes this is great and sometimes its awful. But the one thing I hate about being wired so logically is that it has inhibited my ability to dream. My mind is logical, but my heart is dreaming. Some of my biggest dreams appear unrealistic. One of my biggest dreams has always been to encourage people on a grand stage. I dream to be able to encourage thousands of people at a time! In my mind, this looked like a stadium filled with people. That was, and still is, my dream, but it seemed pretty unrealistic. I was (and still am) satisfied with working with the 20-40 Jr. High and High School kids I see every week. That is my “grand stage” and I am thankful for that. But, I believe we have these inner most desires, these passions, for a reason.
Then, February 4th, 2014 I was sitting in the back of my personal finance class with my laptop open and all of the sudden it hit me. “Why don’t you write a letter to your future wife? There are so many things you want to tell her, why don’t you let her know?” So, while the echoes of “building a budget” bounced off the walls, I started writing some of the truths I wanted my wife to understand. Little did I know that hundreds of thousands of people would read that letter. You can find that letter here
Get off the brakes. Last weekend I went mountain bike riding for the second time in my life with with a couple of my best friends. I can ride a bike pretty well, but when you are flying down the backside of a mountain it gets a little scary. My friend gave me one tip throughout the whole day, “Try to stay off your brakes as much as possible.” What? I’m not at an expert, but I know that if you are going down a hill and you aren’t using your brakes, you are going to start going faster and faster and faster. That doesn’t sound appealing to me. But there was a concept behind it. When you are on your brakes the whole time, it causes your tires to slide and you lose control. So, its better to brake occasionally than to be stuck on the brakes the whole time.
I noticed this is how I live my life sometimes. I’m riding the brakes in hopes of helping myself but I’m really just hurting myself. It is hard to put your heart out there for everyone to see. At one point, after the letter had been read about 3,000 times, I was considering taking the “To My Future Wife” post down. It was getting a lot of controversy and people were attacking my character as a pastor and as an individual. I didn’t like being attacked, I wasn’t used to it, and I wanted to put on the brakes. But I didn’t. I battled in prayer and let it ride. A few weeks later the post would be read 600,000 times and counting. I wouldn’t say this was a dream come true, but I was definitely blessed by it. And I have been super blessed by the friends that have come out of it. But that never would have happened if I didn’t keep off the brakes when it got tough. Don’t be scared to take a chance. Don’t be scared to face a little opposition. You never know when you will run into a moment that could shape your life forever!
Sometimes we just have to follow the words of the great prophet Dory from “Finding Nemo” and “just keep swimming.” Even when it sucks. Just keep going. We don’t know how its going to work, we don’t know what is going to happen, but we just need to keep going. Keep trying. Keep living. Keep praying. Keep studying. Keep loving. KEEP GOING!
The best day to start chasing your dream was yesterday. Ever since I was 15-years old, I wanted to be a youth pastor. As an 18-year old walking into college I knew this, but I was constantly telling myself you’re too young. You’re not mature enough. You don’t know enough. You don’t speak well enough. You don’t _______. You haven’t ______. You’ve never ________. Whatever it was, I was constantly telling myself “when I’m older, when I’m wiser, when I know more, when the opportunity presents itself.” But, what I’ve learned is that we are always telling ourselves “when I’m older” until one day we wake up and say “if I was younger.” You’re old enough. You’re smart enough. You have what it takes, just go for it! The best day to start chasing your dream was yesterday, but the second best day is today. So get started. It’s not too late. It’s not too early. Do what you want to do! Do what you were made to do! I believe God designed everyone with a specific heart and a specific plan, do what you were born to do! Do what you love to do. No more excuses. No more “maybe tomorrow,” right now! Pick up the phone and make that phone call. Fill out that college application. Write that resignation letter. Whatever it is that you need to do to chase your dreams, do it. And so will I.
One life, one chance. We get one chance at this thing we call life. Spend it doing something you love. I understand sometimes we have to sacrifice a little bit of time to wait for our opportunities, but if you have spent the last ten years waiting for your big break, maybe you should try and cultivate your dreams a little bit differently. There are so many quotes about taking chances in life and here is mine: I would rather fail at everything I love than succeed at everything people told me to do. This is your life. One life, one chance.
Chasing dreams is something I am currently learning to understand in my own life so I hope it encourages you! If it does, feel free to share with your friends!
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