Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Dangerous dreams

It's a risky thing to have a dream. Having a dream means leaving the relative safety of the sidewalk and stepping onto the unpredictable road of the unknown. I believe it was Erin Hanson who wrote these words you'll see all over Pinterest: "What if I fall? Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?" Flying is awesome. Flying is definitely the desired result if you take a leap of faith. But...what if you don't fly?

Splat.

It's risky.

There's another inspirational saying from Pinterest that goes: "Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll still land among the stars." I used to love that saying. Yes, I thought. Dream big. Don't be afraid to fail. Shoot for the moon. I loved it.

Until now. Now one of the most ambitious goals of my life is actually within reach and I'm soaring above the clouds and dreaming big dreams...and the pavement looks awfully unforgiving from up here. Suddenly the stars feel less like a sparkly "almost made it" and more like the black abyss of space. Land among the stars? You mean where I'll die a horrible death and be swallowed up by the void?

Gulp. Thanks for nothing, Pinterest.

But dreams, no matter how dangerous, don't just go away. I've dreamed about and worked toward publishing a novel for many, many years, and recently I sold one of my books to Bethany House (a major Christian book publisher), and they plan to release it October 2020. A real book of mine. On the actual shelves of Barnes and Noble. On the bedside table of people all around the country.

But it's risky.

What if no one likes it? What if no one buys it? What if it's a huge flop and no other publisher will ever consider working with me again? What if my story offends someone? What if it puts everyone to sleep?

What if all the time and heart and sweat and tears and financial investment I've put into this comes to nothing? 'Tis dangerous to dream, indeed.

No, the wisdom of Pinterest doesn't give me much comfort when I consider my dreams now. But the Bible has this verse that says, "Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed." That's Proverbs 16:3. And that's something I can hold on to when I consider my dreams. This verse doesn't promise my book will be a best seller. Or that it will even sell a single copy. But it does promise that if I place my dream in the Lord's hands, to do whatever He wants with it, the outcome can be considered a success. Yes, even failure can be success when God uses it for His greater purpose.

It's still risky. I could still face-plant on the pavement. But I can trust that God will have a reason for that.

So here's to chasing big dreams in faith, and here's to everyone out there willing to risk the vast nothingness of space for just one shot at that moon. Just remember God's got this.

After all, He made the moon.

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