We all have dreams. As children, we dream constantly about our futures and what we will become. We dream of becoming professional athletes, President of the United States, journalists, doctors, successful businessmen. We dream of travelling the world, learning every language, having families, opening a pet shelter. We dream of changing the world.
And then, as we grow, we are slowly taught to become more grounded, more realistic, and less focused on our dreams. Society tells us to 'take it down a notch' and guides us to a goal that is more easily achieved so that we do not fail. No one wants to be responsible for encouraging someone who may fail, so we are discouraged instead. And, very gradually, our dreams become less prevalent in our lives, and they become small.
Very gradually, we forget how to dream.
Of course, we have all had at least one or two teachers that continue to impress on us that our dreams do have significance, and that we can do anything if we can dream it. High school walls are plastered with quotes like
'The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.' -Eleanor Roosevelt
'Go confidently in the direction of your dreams; live the life you have always imagined.' -Henry David Thoreau
But to be honest, we are only encouraged by a select few people to really do what those quotes say. Many others, the voices we hear daily, tell us that our dreams are not possible. "Wow," they say. "That sounds like a great idea, but how do you think you'll do that?" or "That sounds like it will be very hard. I wish you the best of luck!"
Yes, it will be hard. A dream is not worth it if it isn't hard. And I am not asking for it to be easy. I am not asking for a pat on the back and an applause for thinking big.
We have a magnet on our door here in Honduras that says, "What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?" I bought it while I was still in college and have had it on my refrigerator or front door ever since. At the time I purchased it, I was working towards my undergraduate degree in astrophysics. While many people were excited for me and for the opportunities that would present themselves to me after college, there were more than enough people to tell me it would not happen.
When I switched into astrophysics from an English/Spanish concentration, my new advisor was, well, less than encouraging. "You have great grades in all of your classes," he said. "But astrophysics is just not the same. It will be hard, and I'm not sure you will be good for it." In essence, he was trying to tell me that I could not do it. He did not have faith in my abilities, and I should not either. Luckily I am stubborn and driven, otherwise I may have taken his advice and thought twice about that transfer. I graduated in 2013 out of one of the best astronomy/physics programs in the nation.
Later, I decided to move to Honduras, and I was told very similar things about coming here. It will be hard. How will you do that? All of the normal, passively-negative comments. I have been here almost two years now and will be here indefinitely.
Now, we are planning to open this coffee shop/community center. And, of course, I have heard my fair share of negative comments or people who think it's a good idea, but do not have enough faith in me to follow through and to finish this project.
Luckily, they need not have faith in me. Because, with all that I have accomplished in my life (not very much, but a bit), this is something that I admittedly could not do. Not alone, anyway. The dream that I have for this coffee shop is so much bigger than me. It is bigger than you. It is so big, in fact, that it scared me in the beginning. Not because it was a bad idea; rather, because it was such a good idea, and so big, that I wasn't sure how to even start it.
So, how am I doing it?
With faith. Not faith in me, but faith in God the Father. God makes so many promises to us in His word, the Bible. He encourages us to dream and to make goals. Even more than that, He encourages us to dream SO BIG that the only way we can accomplish those dreams is with Him.
'Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all we could ever ask or think, according to the power at work within us...'
-Ephesians 3:20 (emphasis added)
I have dreams, and they are big. Particularly, I have A DREAM, and it is HUGE. I know it will happen because God works and He is alive today. He works in the hearts of those who are considering whether or not to donate. He works for our favor as we approach the community leaders for land. He works by putting resources in front of me. He works by lowering costs and opening doors.
God tells us that if we desire Him with all of our hearts, He will do for us far more than we could ever imagine. Sometimes, He works for us in ways we do not even recognize. We want one thing, but He gives us another. Does that mean He is not working for us? Absolutely not. He works for us in unfathomable ways, but only if we allow Him to.
I will end this by asking you what your dream is. Is it big? Does it scare you?
Do not give up on your dreams, and especially do not give up on the power that God has to make your dreams become a reality.
Do not allow the mediocrity of everyday life seep into your heart and destroy the dream you have for your life. Do not become so complacent and faithless that you forget what it even is to dream anymore. And most important, do not forget who the ultimate Dream Maker and Dream Fulfiller is.
'Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.'
If you would like to help make my dream a reality by making a financial donation to the coffee shop, you can do so HERE.
Want more information about the coffee shop? Post a comment with your e-mail address and I will contact you!