When I was in 6th grade I did a project about what I was going to be when I grew up. I had to research all about what kind of training was needed, the perks and struggles of the job, and more. In 6th grade I decided that I was going to be an astronaut, to explore the universe, to study how things worked. I had big dreams about what I was going to do one day.
There is a creative gene in each of us that dreams. We have big dreams about careers, family, and even our faith and church. But then something often happens to those dreams, someone steps on them. It sounds like this, “that is a great idea, but how will you pay for it, that will never work, oh just wait till you grow up a little you will change, wait till you do this for a while.” How many of you have heard this? These little comments from loved ones and others can crush those dreams, our passion for a cause or idea, or job suddenly is squelched. So often what we do then is settle. Well since, this idea, job, and passion, is silly or not possible, let’s just do something else, what is easier, less scary, pays better, or involves less risk that I can pursue instead. Next thing you know we are simply surviving, we do just enough to keep our relationships alive, just enough to keep going, but not much more than that.
This happens to a church from Ephesus in scripture, and they get a letter from God about it. It begins this way, “I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance (Revelation 2:2, TNIV), so far so good, they are affirmed for working hard, and for sticking to their guns, but then the passage continues, “Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first.” (Revelation 2:4, TNIV) God calls them out for just getting by, but also for being distracted. They had forgotten their passion for God, all the reasons they became a church, all the reasons they wanted to be a Christian, and were just going through the motions.
During high school I had a number of friends who were not Christians that I eventually invited to youth group. Today a number of those guys are Christians. I had the joy to pray and talk with one of them as he became a Christian, and thought to myself, this is the greatest gift I could ever give someone, introducing them to God. That was my dream that sent me into ministry, sharing in relationships that lead to transformation, and helping introduce people to God.
What dreams has God placed on your heart? Maybe your dream is to become a praying family, or to train young leaders, to become well versed in the bible, to invite all your neighbors to church, or more. Has something or someone taken you off that path? Were you told that it was unrealistic, too big, and too crazy? God reminds us that those dreams, those passions, those first loves need to drive us, to be remembered, and not forgotten.