Living the Dream

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By Janelle Anderson

Are you “living the dream”? What does that mean anyway? To some it may mean having money, possessions, houses, cars, boats….things. But to me it means living out the dreams God put in my heart; living out the purpose of  my life. Everyone has a dream, a purpose, at least one talent. Everyone has a God-given dream to live out on this earth.

Have you ever had a dream or envisioned yourself doing something far beyond what you think you could ever do? You’re like, right, God. How in the world could I ever do that? I’m too old, too young, don’t have the talent, don’t have the time, don’t have the money. I’ve tried it and it didn’t work out so well. It’s too late. (Or ladies, how about, I can’t do that, I’m a woman!) And yet when that vision comes to your mind and you see yourself doing that, you get excited about it. If only…you think. I would LOVE to do that! But, I’m too……

Joseph had a dream. God gave him a literal dream and it was a life purpose dream. We all know the story. When he shared it with his brothers, they weren’t too happy about it. In fact they sold him into slavery and told their father that he had been killed. Do you ever wonder why Joseph told his brother that dream?

I wonder sometimes if he told them the dream because he thought it was way too big and it could never actually become a reality! Maybe he was hoping for one of them to interpret it for him and make sense out of it. At any rate, even while he was a slave and then later a prisoner, he kept on growing that dream. He learned, he grew, he developed his skills, and he eventually became more fully equipped to live out the fullness of that dream. Even in slavery and in prison, that dream was alive in him and the talent to organize, manage, and interpret dreams grew as he just walked out what was in him no matter where he happened to be or what his circumstances were.

Have you ever seen the movie, Rio? It’s about a blue macaw, called Blue. He lives in a bookstore with his owner and has never learned to fly. In fact, he really does not know what his true identity is. Turns out, he is a rare blue macaw, one of only two in the whole world. The other one lives in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He travels to Rio to meet Jewel, the only other blue macaw.

Throughout the movie he struggles with the fact that he can’t fly. Jewel says to him, “You’re a bird! Of course you can fly!” And Blue says, “Well, some birds can’t fly, like the ostrich.” Jewel answers him and says, “But you are not an ostrich, you are a macaw!”

One bird keeps telling him, “It’s not about what you think in your head, it’s about what you feel in your heart.”

Finally, when Jewel’s wing is hurt and she falls from an airplane, Blue jumps out to save her and finds that he CAN FLY! When he got out of his head, and did what was naturally in him, in his heart, he flew. He was created to fly. It is what he was made to do, designed to do. When he has finally discovered this, he is elated and says, “Hey, I’m not an ostrich! I can fly!”

God has placed talents in you and dreams in your heart that seem impossible – for a reason. It’s because the world needs you to be who you are. We need you to live the dream. Remember what Joseph said when his brothers came to Egypt?

“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.” Genesis 50:20

They needed him to be in that place at that time, living out the purpose of God in his life, didn’t they? I bet they were pretty glad Joseph was alive and living the dream in that moment, right?

Here is a quote I came across recently that has really impacted my heart:

Don’t ask yourself what the world needs.  Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go and do that.  Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” –Howard Thurman

We need you to do what makes you come alive! When you live your dreams, it gives life to the people around you. You are the only one who can do what God has called you to do and the rest of the Body and the world need you to do it!

I feel sorry for the poor guy who buried that one talent. Maybe he just didn’t know what to do with it. Maybe he just needed some equipping. Maybe he just needed to go to ministry training class or take a learning to live class. Maybe he needed a coach to help him see the things inside his heart or a mentor who has already walked it out and can take him alongside and show him the way.

I think that some of us are like Blue. We really don’t know who we truly are or what we were truly created to be. We continue living in our own bookstore not realizing we were actually created to fly! Sometimes, we need other people around us to speak into us who we truly are and help us to discover those dreams in our heart. We need people to teach us and mentor us and encourage us to go ahead and live that dream!

What makes you come alive? What do you love doing? What ideas do you have?

Those are the seeds of your dreams.

My boss made a statement once that struck a deep place inside of me. She and her husband were talking about taking the kids to Disney World. She was worried that they didn’t have the money or the time to do it right now. But, her husband said, “Well, what other life are we going to have to do things like this?”

What other life are you going to have to live your dream?

Start growing your talents now. Find out what those dreams are in your heart and get equipped, get trained, get coached, get mentored. Go do what makes you come alive! Get out of your cage in the bookstore and FLY!