Why You May Be Missing God’s Big Dream For Your Life
Our lives become a pattern. The pattern becomes a rut.
One of the more fun things I remember doing as a kid was riding my bike after a good rain. My brothers and I would find a patch of bare ground and ride through the mud, back and forth, back and forth.
If you could get up enough speed, your back tire would throw up a big, muddy rooster tail. It was a blast!
But, what starts out as fun often becomes a burden, a trap of sorts. After baking in the heat of the day, that mud would harden into ruts. You could still ride through it, but if you wanted to get out, you couldn’t simply turn the handle bars.
It was hard to get out; you had to “jump” your bike out of the rut, or stop completely, hop off and pull it out.
On the bicycle called Life, ruts often disguise themselves as harmless routines; they can seem so normal. In those routines we go back and forth, back and forth, day after day: Wake up. Go to work. Come home. Fix dinner. Kids and homework. A little TV or Facebook. Off to bed. Wake up and start all over again.
Our lives become a pattern. The pattern becomes a rut. We wake up one morning and it hits us: we’re stuck. Vance Havner says a rut is nothing but a grave with both ends kicked out. Can you relate?
I was there. I no longer liked my job. I hated Mondays. I questioned my purpose: Is this all there is to life?
But, how do you suddenly change course when the rut has hardened around you? What if I leave what I’m doing for something that turns out to be worse? What if I can’t support my family? What if people laugh at me?
It felt like I would never get out of the rut without crashing my bike. And, that’s just what the enemy wants us to believe. You can’t really do any better than this. Besides, too many people are counting on you. Better to play it safe. Just stay put.
Jesus tells us not to believe the lies. He said,
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10 NIV)
So, what does it mean to have life to the full? What does that look like? How do you know when you get there?
I can tell you what it’s not about: it’s not about money, achievement, personal indulgences, notoriety or even a secure retirement. I had all of those…and I was miserable.
I have found that it begins with discovering how we’re made – I mean really knowing ourselves – and then pursuing a career that is the right fit. I’ve learned that the later in life you come to this realization, the deeper the rut is. And, I’ve learned that regardless of your age, God will always help you out of it.
DISCOVERING YOUR BIG DREAM
Some people say it takes courage to leave the familiar for the unknown. I think it also takes discernment and listening, followed by faith and obedience.
Recently I took an assessment, a personal inventory that measured my personality, interests, skills and values. A consultant and friend, Jan, spent two hours reviewing the results with me. I was amazed; it was like the lights came on, like my life was finally in focus!
Some of the report consisted of things I knew: I am built for teaching and training. I am creative and conscientious (precise). The main anointing on my life is leadership. All of these were familiar to me.
What I didn’t see coming is that God has built me for ministry, as in full-time ministry. YIKES! I also scored very high in both creativity and compassion, a rare combination. While business will likely remain a part of what I do, it is not the main call on my life. God has equipped me for ministry.
This both excites me and scares me. I am excited to know how God made me – finally! – yet a bit fearful about doing something so different from what I’ve done for the past 30 years. I have the discerning and listening down; now comes the faith and obedience part.
Jan said many things that both encouraged and challenged me. For instance:
- You will feel more fulfilled and less stressed when you are operating in the gifts and calling that God designed for you.
- You are God’s work of art. He wants you to function as he made you; we offend God when we don’t seek to know this.
- What you do for a living must be aligned with your Personality, Interests, Skills and Values. When that happens, your passion is loosed!
- God will take you out of your Comfort Zone but will never take you out of your Gift Zone. He won’t ask you to do things that are contrary to how he made you.
- Yet, for the sake of money, we will forsake our calling and put up with something less than our Best Life. (Wow, isn’t that the truth?!)
My friend, how you are put together is intentional. God had a very, very good reason for making you the way he did. The Bible says:
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10 NIV)
God has put a Big Dream inside you. He did this at the beginning of time when he first designed you and has placed you on this earth precisely at this time for that purpose. He has given you the right personality for it, he has given you the right gifts for it and he has given you the right values for it.
There is a passion inside you! Your Big Dream exists for your fulfillment, for God’s Kingdom purposes and for his glory.
Do you feel like your life is in a rut? Are you just going through the motions? Wondering if this is all there is to life?
I encourage you to find out how God made you. Get out of the rut and onto the path that God has designed just for you. It will be the most thrilling ride of your life!