by Katherine J. Kehler
Have you ever wondered why some people who have had dreams influenced their nation and the world by their achievements, while others dreams never got past the dreaming stage?
I have talked to many people who have told me about their dreams. Usually their eyes begin to sparkle when they begin to tell me about an idea that has been percolating in their mind - sometimes for years.
But too often the tyranny of the urgent, fear or lack of confidence has pushed their dream so far down that it doesn't even qualify for their five-year goals.
Amelia Earhart had a dream and was the first woman to make both transatlantic and transcontinental solo flights in 1930.
Dr. Henrietta C. Mears, a single woman, had dreams that influenced the great Christian leaders of our time - Dr. Billy Graham, Dr. William R. Bright and Dr. Richard Halverson to name just a few.
Have you had reams percolating in your mind, surfacing now and then to fill you with excitement?
Asking people about their dreams through the last few years has been tremendously inspiring. They look at me and are quiet for a while and then most say, "Yes, I have a dream." And they proceed to tell me what God has put in their heart.
Sometimes years earlier! Wonderful dreams such as writing a children's book, organizing a chapel for girls' synchronized swim teams just before their meet, reaching fashion models for Christ, beginning a contemporary church - and the list goes on.
But what has surprised and saddened me is that even though people are excited about their dreams, few are actively making their dreams a reality.
I saw a need and began to teach a seminar that helps people define their dreams, think through the roadblocks they could encounter and also the resources God has already given them. Lastly, I have them take the time to set measurable three-month, six-month, one, two, and five-year goals.
Many seem to be waiting for someone to hold their hand and help them take the first step toward developing their dreams. Do you have a dream, but need a plan to make that dream come true?
If so, take a few hours to go through this worksheet. When you are finished, determine to follow through with the goals you set and you will be well on your way to realizing your dream.
- Capture Your Dream
The first step is to clarify the dream in your mind. What is your dream? What are you passionate about? What will you want to have accomplished by the time you are seventy years old? What will not get done if you don't do it? Is there a target group or urgent need with which God has burdened you? Will the world be different because you followed your dream?
Is there a latent talent you want to develop? Have you wanted to turn your creativity into a business? Your dream can be an event to help you reach your life's purpose, one that may be completed in a few months, or it can be a life long pursuit.
Take a few moments to think about it, then write down your dream.
- Center Your Dream on God
Is your dream from God or is it your own desire? One way to know if your dream is from God is to ask yourself, "What eternal difference will my dream have? Will it make a difference in light of eternity?" Do you have a Biblical basis for your dream? You can be very sure that God will never give you a dream that conflicts with the teaching of the Holy Scriptures.
God has a wonderful plan for each of us. His plan will conform to your heritage, your experience, your talents, education and season of life. No one else can fill your role.
Dr. Bill Bright, the founder and president of Campus Crusade for Christ, International, stated, "Whatever we vividly envision, ardently desire, sincerely believe and enthusiastically act upon must inevitably come to pass, provided there is scriptural authority for it."
Write down the Biblical basis for your dream.
- Face Your Foes
Think through what is stopping you from fulfilling your dream. What are the roadblocks and obstacles? Lack of encouragement? Training? Fear? The Bible tells us in Revelation 3:8: "See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut."
Are you just not sure how to take the first step? Lack of funds? Your schedule is already full? Afraid of failure? Henrietta Mears, the Bible teacher of many of todays great Christian leaders, once said, "Don't doubt in the darkness what God has given you in the light."
- Count Your Assets
What are your resources? What has God given you to use? Your personality? Your education? Your influence? Your experience, wealth and giftedness? And remember in addition to all of your natural gifts, God has given you His Holy Spirit and His Word. Rely on God's promise in 1 Thessalonians 5:24: "The one who calls you is faithful and He will do it."
List your resources.
- Go for the Gold
Taking steps to make your dream a reality. Begin by setting measurable goals.
- Three-month goals - what steps will you take in the next three months. Write them down. Enter them in your appointment book.
- Six months to one-year goals - write these down and pencil them in your schedule.
- Two to five-year goals - it is more difficult to think two to five years ahead, but it is a very good mental exercise.
- Write the Things you Have Planned to do in Your Daily Planner Review your goals often. Share your dream with someone and ask them to hold you accountable. Evaluate your progress after three months, six months, etc.. This is tremendously motivating if you are following your plan. As you develop your dream, you may have to revise your plans. This is normal.
Congratulate yourself! Today you have taken very important steps to make your dream a reality. Now work hard at making your dream a reality.
"There is no magic in small plans. When I consider my ministry, I think of the world. Anything less than that would not be worthy of Christ nor of His will for my life."
- Henrietta Mears
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If you don't know Jesus and would like to start a life that is focused on his priorities, you can start your journey with him by saying a simple prayer:
Lord Jesus, I want to trust you from now on. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of my life. Make me be the person You want me to be. Thank you for enabling me to trust you in these uncertain times. Amen.
If you prayed this prayer, we would love to hear from you on the form below and we would love to send you some online resources to help you in this journey that are beginning with God.