Dream Big, Think Small
As we begin New Year 2018, many of us have a desire to begin this new calendar year on a better foot. We often want the next 365 days to be better than the last 365 days we have experienced. Because of this desire, many people make New Year’s resolutions. They resolve to eat more healthy foods, to exercise more regularly, to improve their relationships, to carry out a lifelong dream, or to begin a new hobby. These resolutions are all practical solutions to an underlying desire: to grow into better people. This desire is a good one because God himself, our Creator and Redeemer, wants us to grow too in this New Year and beyond. The Apostle Peter reminds the church of God’s desire for us in the final verse of his final letter: “…grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (II Peter 3:18).
As we seek to grow into the better people that God wants us to be, we have a tendency to be impatient. We want to achieve our goal of spiritual maturity all at once. But that’s not realistic. Spiritual growth of individual Christians and churches is always a process that takes time and intentionality.
A book that our Worship Planning Committee recommended me to use in a series of messages is Jeff Manion’s book Dream Big, Think Small. Jeff is the lead pastor at Ada Bible Church and he echoes the teaching of Scripture that spiritual growth takes time and intentional everyday acts of faithfulness. We need to be diligent in the little things.
Overnight success in life is a myth. Individual growth, church growth, relationship growth, and any other growth we experience comes from focusing on the little things.
If we aspire to be part of an outstanding business, church, school, family, or simply live an inspiring life, there’s no substitute for faithfulness over time.
Using principles of Scripture and Pastor Manion’s tested advice, I plan to do a message series entitled “Dream Big, Think Small” during the first 6 weeks of 2018. My goal is for these messages to provide you a plan to achieve your God-given dreams through steady progress over time; the tools necessary to lead, serve, and love others over a lifetime; and the motivation you need to stick with it for the long haul. Several of our members are reading this book as I share these messages. This book is intended to be read daily for 30 days, 5 days a week for 6 weeks. Please let me know if you would like to have a book ordered for you to read too.
Here is the schedule for the 6 weeks of messages:
January 7 – A Case for Steady Movement
January 14 – Refilling an Empty Tank
January 21 – A Healthy Heart
January 28 – Life-Giving Relationships
February 4 – Stress Fractures
February 11 – Revisiting Success
My hopes for you echo that of Pastor Jeff Manion which he writes in the book introduction: “Your work matters. Your life matters. I encourage you to build an extraordinary life a day at a time. I pray that our gracious Lord will deliver you from the quest for a quick fix and that you will taste the joy and freedom that come from a life of consistent faithfulness. Big dreams must be anchored in small, life-giving habits. This is why I challenge you to dream big, but to think small.”
As we seek to dream the big dreams that the Lord has given us in this new year, may he also help us to think small so that day by day, month by month, and year by year we may become more the Christ-followers, kingdom workers, and church family that God is calling us to be in 2018 and beyond.