“What about you?” I asked the woman in the church’s Fellowship Hall. “What’s your dream?” There are two reasons her answer took me by surprise.
First of all, she didn’t hesitate. I don’t know if she took a breath before she said, “You know, I don’t even know what my dream is.” And that was the second surprise. She didn’t know her dream. Couldn’t name it.
I’ve been on a “Follow Your Dream” kick, and what I remembered in that Fellowship Hall is how elusive our dreams can be. They don’t follow the norm and they don’t fit the status quo. Dreams rock the boat, and so we squash them and point our fingers at them. We use our stern voices and we tell them to go to their room and not to come out until they’re ready to say “I’m sorry” and then we make them vow to sit quietly in the corner. Dreams don’t promise a cushy 401K or health insurance or six figures or even five.
Dreams are scary, and because they scare us, we don’t always get to know them.
When I told God my dream, it wasn’t something that just rolled of my tongue. Oh, I knew there was something in there, but I had never verbalized it. When I said it to God, it was after nearly twenty-four hours of trying to figure out what that dream was. If you’d asked me to tell you my dream before I’d actually shared it with God, I probably would have said something that sounded a lot like that woman in the Fellowship Hall. Because the idea of standing on my two feet with my hands on my hips and daring to think I had a dream worth pursuing scared me, and it seemed like too much work.
Besides, what if God and the rest of the world thought my dream was ridiculous? What if God and the rest of the world think your dream is ridiculous?
Well, for starters, having a ridiculous dream does not make you a ridiculous person. In fact, it puts you in some pretty amazing company. And also? Ridiculous does not scare God.
So, now that we’ve got that out of the way, tell me, what’s your dream? Take your time. Push past the knocking knees and sweaty palms. Don’t answer right away. Mull it over. Talk about it with God. Write it on a napkin. Then, rewrite it. Edit it. Tweak it. Write it in your journal, in ink. Read it out loud. Whisper it if you have to. Let your voice be shaky – it’ll get stronger. It will.