Monday, October 31, 2005

"The Dream Giver"

My sister gave me a book a while back, The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson. I must confess, I'm not a huge Wilkinson fan. I read The Prayer of Jabez and I really didn't like how Wilkinson turned those few verses into a spring-board for the Health and Wealth Gospel. But that's another post.

This book is a little different. It's about a Nobody named Ordinary who leaves the Land of Familiar to live his Big Dream. I know. It's almost too "cute" even for me. The first half of the book Wilkinson considers a parable, the second half he explains the parable. I don't think it's a parable because parables are metaphoric. This book isn't a metaphor. You don't have to figure out who Ordinary represents and where the Land of Familiar is because it is simply stated.

I'm getting off the subject.

The second half of the book isn't too bad. Apparantly, my sister knows exactly what I need to hear right now. She read this book, thought of me, so she bought one for me. I am very grateful to her.

In the first half of the book, Ordinary gets stuck in the Wasteland as he is on the path to his Big Dream. I like what Wilkinson does with this portion of the book. He explains so very well how the Wasteland is necessary for all of us who have Big Dreams. He uses examples from scripture: Moses, Joshua, and David, all who had their Wasteland experiences before God used them and they achieved their Big Dreams. I like that. It's where I feel like I am right now.

But I have a problem. It's a problem because, even though I'm stuck in the Wasteland, I don't know what my Big Dream is. This is where I think Wilkinson has messed it up. Moses didn't know what his Big Dream was, either, and neither did Joshua. At least, they didn't know what their Big Dream was while they were stuck in the Wasteland. They did discover it later on, but it wasn't until they came out of the Wasteland before they were able to discover their Big Dream. And I would even argue that it wasn't their Big Dream. It was God's Big Dream for them.

Wilkinson does have one thing right: a Wasteland experience can be long, it can be hard, and it can be life-altering. But God wants it that way. It is only through those experiences that God will shape us into the people that He wants us to be. It is only in the tough times that our character builds and that we learn to rely more on Him and less on ourselves and the people and things around us. I have to keep pounding that into my head, otherwise I don't think I could make it. I don't see the changes, but Wilkinson says that my friends and the people closest to me probably do......they may be able to see just what God is shaping me to be.

What do you guys see in me???????


At 2:22 PM, Blogger Tony Arnold said...

I see someone remaining faithful despite much suffering.

The one's who have know you the longest will be able to reflect on the changes you have made to yourself. They know before and afer.


At 2:25 PM, Blogger Sarah said...

I SO don't have time to be writing to you right now, but I completely identify with your seeking. And, unfortunately, this blog has not given me enough of an insight into your life to tell you what I believe your Big Dream to be (I'm still blown away at how much science you had to take in college and wondering if I would EVER get out of college under your degree plan).

When my baby went to Kindergarten I really struggled with the same thing -- the world was MINE and I could completely re-invent what I did, my career, my Big Dream -- whatever. Problem was, I had NO idea which direction to go. I was starting a Beth Moore study and in the introductory video of Beloved Disciple she addressed just that. I can't remember what she called it (God's will, your purpose in life, don't remember), but for this conversation, let's call it God's Big Dream for you. She said, "God's Big Dream for you is written on God's heart. Draw near to Him, KNOW Him, fall in love with Him, and you will learn His Big Dream for you."

You know, if nothing else, it gave me SOMETHING to do while I was looking! Now my baby is in 2nd grade, and I see that God's Big Dream for me is ever-changing and evolving as my family and the rest of my life changes. It seems easier to "rest in Him" and carry out the current task I believe He has given me instead of continually frantically searching for His Big Dream for me.

But still ask your friends what they see in you! That can be fun! :-)

At 10:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know the big picture, but I know from your blog that you are a great communicator with thoughts common to many of us--thank you for expressing those. I know God is already using you in that "semi-Big Dream". As far as a well-defined Big Dream, I doubt that God has made many folks privy to His specific plans very far in advance. Years ago, I would try to plan my life and seek the Big Dream, but some catastropic events taught me to just "show up" and trust God to give me what I need at the moment. That may sound like a cop-out, but it appears to be working because God and I are pretty tight--His leading and my just being there for Him to use. Hope that doesn't detract from Wilkinson's premise.


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