DREAM SMALL. VISION BIG.
(Originally composed August 28th, 2019)
One morning a few weeks ago I found myself thinking about life – which is not an unusual occurrence. I do a lot of thinking these days. I was trying not to get my hopes up again. You see, I am a dreamer. Maybe not in the sense of having actual dreams that are significant. Rather, I hope a lot. I have ideas that are seemingly unending and as a result, contentment is probably one of my greatest areas of weakness. In addition, I struggle with fully completing a task or assignment without being derailed by something else that’s “better.” It causes me to be a sort of adrenaline junkie – always living from one event to the next and needing something bigger to look forward to.
This particular morning the Lord dropped a phrase and a question on my mind. The phrase was, “DREAM SMALL. VISION BIG.” The Question was, “Are you okay with being an elbow and not an eye?”
At Liberty University when Jerry Falwell Sr. was still alive, he would speak to us students about our BHAG – Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal. This was the thing that, if you had no limitations, you would attempt to accomplish. Then he said to have faith in God and go for it. We were encouraged to “Think Big.” Big ministry. Big job. Big salary. Big influence. Big purpose. But the thought the Lord gave me was, “What if I’m not called to fulfill a big purpose? Am I any less purposed?”
I was reminded of 1 Cor. 12 when Paul addresses the parts of the Body. “But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part where would the body be?...On the contrary those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor.” (1 Cor. 12:18,22-23)
If we all hold different roles in the Body then we’re not all called to be something visible and heralded as important – like an eye. Some of us are meant to be an elbow. Some of us are supposed to be a knee cap. Some of us are made to be a hair follicle – or an eyelash – or a toenail – or a sinus cavity – or an armpit. Society tells us to “Think big. Dream big.” I even had the inside of a yogurt lid last week that literally said that. But the Lord is clear – we can’t all dream and function as an eye. We can’t all have a big role. God doesn’t call or want everyone to be famous and minister to the masses. God doesn’t want everyone to be a president; many are called to be pilgrims. The Pilgrims in American history were ones who viewed their purposes as the foundation for future generations. William Bradford penned these words regarding the Pilgrims’ establishing a colony in the New World: "Last and not least, they [Pilgrims] cherished a great hope and inward zeal of laying good foundations, or at least making some ways toward it, for the propagation and advance of the gospel of the Kingdom of Christ in the remote parts of the world, even though they should be but stepping stones to others in the performance of so great a work.”
What an incredibly SMALL calling – to be something from which someone else launches. Yet, how important and necessary is that calling? There are not words.
There was a season in my life when I wanted to go BIG. I wanted to be a singer/songwriter and lead worship for big conferences. I wanted to be famous – not necessarily out of the motivation of self-promotion (although that was present) – but more to do something important and have a voice. Over the years I auditioned for many different scholarships and positions. I would get comments like, “You can expect a callback,” or, “You are so anointed.” I would get to the final round for whatever I was competing but I would never win. I would never get the part for the BIG DREAMS. Yet, I got the part to be the worship leader for the teen girls. I got the part to sing a solo in the choir. I got the part to organize a Christmas service. These were not the things I originally set out for. These were things that made a difference on a small level. Because I was dreaming big, these things came to me as big disappointments. However, I would be faithful in what doors the Lord did open and did have me doing. One day I realized what the Lord had done.
He used the “almosts” to tell me I was good enough.
He used the small parts to turn my heart and give me a new dream – a SMALL dream.
A “small dream” is one that is okay to be in obscurity. A “small dream” is one that is good with meeting the needs of an obscure area. A “small dream” is one that’s okay with not being rich. A “small dream” is one where fruit is sometimes hard to measure in numbers and to quantify. A “small dream” is not having to be in a big city – but understanding the country life needs help as well. The “small dream” lends itself to being a stepping stone. The “small dream” says I will reproduce myself in hopes that the next generation will advance further and be healthier. I have come to see that a “small dream” is an important thing.
We need people to DREAM SMALL. VISION BIG.
To “vision big” means to make the most of your position in life. If the Lord calls you to dream small you still need to have a big vision for your calling. Be the best mom or dad. Be the best employee or pastor. Don’t settle for apathy or laziness. Don’t give something a half-hearted attempt. Take what you’re given and be creative. Take your lemons and make lemonade. Take your tomatoes and make salsa. Take your milk and make ice-cream. Turn the small things into something different with big vision. If you’re called to a small area – vision big by trying to reach every single person. The biggest enemy to dreaming small is discontentment.
We need to renew our minds that oftentimes the small dream IS the God-dream.
God does have more hair follicles than eyes. We also need to not get discouraged and settle for small vision as a result. We need to give vision our all.
Dream Small. Vision Big.
Luke 16:10 - Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much…
1 Cor. 4:2 – Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.
Gal. 6:9-10 – Let us not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.