Matthew 4:18-22, 9:9-13
Mark 1:16-20, 3:13-19
Luke 5:1-11, 5:27-31, 6:12-16
Plans – we humans are good at making plans. Some of them are long-term plans necessary to reach a vision or a dream that we have for life. For instance, if you determine in high school to have a career as a doctor or lawyer, you have to create a long-term plan to be able to reach that goal. Other plans have a shorter term designed to address a more immediate situation. I wanted to make sure that I could successfully hike from the north rim to the south rim of the Grand Canyon. That required some exercises to increase leg strength and stamina. It was a short term plan for a particular purpose. We humans have visions and dreams for our lives and often create plans to facilitate them.
The unfortunate thing about reality is, what we dream may not be achievable. I had close friends at one of my former appointments. They asked me to visit with one of their sons about his aspirations. He was determined to be a pro-basketball player. He was good in high school, but he was under-sized and was not recruited for college ball. His dream was unattainable. Now – he’s a lawyer. For some of us, life has its odd twists and turns that thwart the vision for our life. For others of us, it is linear as we zoom toward our vision unscathed by obstacles or distractions.
But what if the obstacle to your vision is God? What if God has a different vision for your life than you do? Is resistance futile? I don’t envision God as one who takes control of our lives. Rather, I envision God as one who creates moments and opportunities for us to choose to go the direction God wants us to go and become the person God wants us to become. It is an invitation to a dream that could be grander than the one we’ve imagined for ourselves. The question is, are we willing to take the risk to follow God into uncomfortable territory? Are we willing to go on an adventure with God?
I encourage you to take time and read each of the scriptures above as you move into reflections on the questions below. I hope that they will guide you in reflection and action as you consider the opportunity to live into the dream God has for you. I also pray that God bless the reading of God’s Word and the meditations of your heart.
- What was or is your aspiration or dream for your life? Did it or is it coming to fruition?
- In what ways has your vision connected with God’s vision for your life? Are there ways in which the two have diverged?
- What particular ill or concern in our local community tugs at your heart?
- What fears, anxieties, or stressors impede your ability to address concerns beyond your immediate family and friends?
- What particular gifts, talents, or skills has God given you that could be used to address a local concern?
- What routines and habits do you possess that could be used to God’s glory and for God’s dream to become a reality here?
Oh God, we see Jesus as the cherished babe lying on the hay, the energetic healer of Galilee, the triumphant risen Christ. We confess that we find it troubling to speak of Jesus as the humble servant, calling us to take up a cross. We hesitate when loyalty to Jesus means discomfort, inconvenience, suffering, or death. Forgive our too-easy affirmation; our noble Sunday-morning intentions which quickly slide into weekday compromises. Nurture us in the eagerness of children, the boldness of prophets, the vision of poets, the courage of disciples. May we continue to trust your promise of a time of peace, when swords will be beaten into plowshares, when you will wipe away all tears, when pain and death will be no more. May we give our lives in service to that vision living with and for others as if the promise were already fulfilled. Amen.