You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—and how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. (Psalm 139:13-16)
This is an interesting time of year. Untold thousands of young people graduate from high schools, colleges, universities, and graduate programs this time of year. In fact, many have already left school for grander things. It's an exciting time for them and their families. I know we're thrilled and proud of our own daughter-in-law for completing her degree in Physical Therapy! (Way to go Mandy!) So now all of these graduates are off and on their way up. We want to tell them, "Go live your dream!"
When I was not quite three years old, my dream in life was to be a garbage man. Now that may not sound like much of an ambition to you, but think about it a minute from the perspective of a three year old. You have a really big, noisy, moving truck with lots of knobs and levers. It goes by everybody's house and they put stuff out for you to get. When you dump that stuff in the back of your truck, this big metal deal turns and the trash all disappears. Now how cool is that?
Once while visiting my grandparents, I heard the garbage men. I went out to watch them. When they left my grandparent's yard, I followed them to the next ... and to the next ... and across two streets ... and ... my mom realized I was gone and was terrified. They found me by listening to the sound of the garbage truck and realizing that is where I must be. I was following my dream!
You have a dream. I'm pretty sure for most of you the dream isn't to be a garbage man. If it is, well that's cool. I'm with you on that dream!
Let me tell you something about your dream no matter what it may be: it was placed in your heart by God himself. See the little guy in the picture? (Okay, if you get this via email you don't see the picture, but it's of a little baby twelve weeks after conception. His right leg looks like it's kicking something or pressing the accelerator of a car.) He is so small no one knows he's there — well no one knows except God.
In Psalm 139:13-16, we are told that from our conception, God knows us, has a purpose for us, and has a plan for us to live that purpose. In other words, God has given us a dream! No matter whom your parents may be, no matter how you came to be, you are not an accident. God has known you all along and has a dream for your life that he has placed inside you! Your job in life is to go live that dream! Are you living your dream?
I wanted to be a garbage man when I grew up. Guess what? I am ... sorta. I help run Heartlight, which is a high tech kind of company. I love all the high tech devices because they are useful, they do cool things — cooler than all the noise, levers, knobs, and stuff the garbage truck did. In addition, I'm a minister. I get to help people take the garbage in their life and leave it at the curb and let God take it away.
I'm getting to live the dream that God planted in me! Hope you are getting to do that, too! If you are, you already know what I'm about to say. If not, let me share a couple more things with you about that dream. I believe God wants you to understand some things about the dream God has placed in your heart.
Second, you must honor the Dream Giver with your dream. If you cannot live your dream and honor God, then it's not really an honorable dream — it's not your real dream. If you have to sacrifice your character, your integrity, or your faith for your dream, then it isn't really a worthy dream. God, the great Dream Giver, gave you your dream. He will not give you a dream that does not bring honor to him.
Third, don't settle for less than the dream God placed in you. He made you for that dream. He made you for his purpose. Don't settle for something less than God's dream. It will be too little, too confining, and too costly in the long run.
You may be like a lot of people who are not sure of the dream God has placed inside them. In addition to reading the New Testament, I recommend Bruce Wilkinson's book, The Dream Giver. It will help you find, identify, and pursue your dream and the great Dream Giver who placed it in your heart.
If you are a graduate, or a parent of a graduate, use this transition as the time when you re-commit to the dream God gave you. That way if people can't find you, all they have to do is listen for the sound of your dream and know that this is where you will be!