Tuesday, October 27, 2009

BEE Fulfilled: A Ladder to the Moon

My son, Hayden, began dreaming BIG when he was two-years-old. One evening last fall, my husband Ryan gathered Hayden and our dog for an evening stroll on a neighborhood trail. While on the walk, Hayden noticed a full moon rising in the east, and pointing at it, he announced, "I need to get a ladder to go to the moon." Ryan chuckled at the thought of using a ladder, of all things, to climb to the moon. Later, when he shared this story with me, I also giggled at the thought of finding a ladder and propping it up against the moon.

But then I questioned the feasibility of Hayden's imaginative mode for trekking to the moon. I thought:

  • Where could we find a ladder tall and sturdy enough to reach the moon?
  • How much would it cost to buy or build such a ladder?
  • How could we position the ladder so that it wouldn't tumble down as we climbed each of the rungs?
  • How long would it take to reach the moon using a ladder? (I'm a BEEsy Mama, and time is a precious commodity!)
  • Why would we need a ladder to journey to the moon when we have space shuttles?

As I pondered on these questions, I observed a difference between my son and me. As a young child, Hayden is not afraid to dream BIG and wouldn't hesitate in trying to use a ladder to reach the moon, while I probably wouldn't even attempt it, rationalizing why it couldn't or shouldn't be done.

It was at that moment I realized I had forgotten what it was like to dream BIG like a child. But I once was a child, and like my son, I dreamed BIG.

I remember being ten years old and watching Mary Lou Retton in the 1984 Olympics. That summer, I was determined to be the next great gymnast. Every day, I practiced cartwheels, handsprings, and round-offs at the school playground behind my house. I'd balance myself on a narrow beam just inches from the ground, twirl a few times, and then bounce off it to dismount. With both arms extended high above my head, I'd bow to an imaginary audience cheering at my debut performance in the Olympics. Oh, the medals I was going to win!

Many other BIG dreams would follow in my childhood--to be a zoologist, a missionary, and a writer. And although many would never be realized, I found joy in dreaming them.

Then I transitioned into adulthood, and with each passing year, my BIG dreams dwindled until one day I realized I only had small ones, and sometimes, none at all. I noted many reasons for this--fears, complacency, busyness, and failure to seek God's direction on His dreams for my life.

But isn't it amazing how God can use children to show us what's missing in our lives? I'm learning so many lessons from my son, and one of the greatest is to not be afraid to dream BIG. Oh, if we could only dream like young children once again! We'd be fearless, optimistic, creative, determined, joyful, and hopeful as we reach for BIG dreams.

And I'm also learning the best dreams to pursue are those God has planned for each of us. I believe God's dreams for us are BIG . . . not dainty, oh-it-can-wait-until-later dreams. But instead, dreams that give joy, hope, and fulfillment to our lives and those around us. Dreams that require effort on our part but are well worth the extra energy we exert to accomplish them. Dreams that demand courage and commitment. Dreams that glorify God.

In Beth Moore's Breaking Free study, she wrote, "One of the things I love best about God is that He does not frown on our dreams. He simply longs to surpass them . . . God surpasses our dreams when we reach past our personal plans and agendas to grab the hand of Christ and walk the path He chose for us."

Can you imagine how God could use each of us if we allow Him to surpass our dreams?

Won't you join me in finding the unique ladders God made just for you and me? Let's grab them, prop them against the gates of Heaven, and begin climbing toward the dreams God intended for us.

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