Daring to Dream

Let's face it, we all have dreams, right?  Some dreams are attainable, while others, we know, will always be a dream.  But how do we know the difference?  How do we know which dreams to strive after and which ones to brush off?  And for those of us who have watched dreams die, do we dare to believe that another could possibly come true?  This morning, I read the story of a man who had a dream that not only came true but also flourished in a miraculous way.

Jim Bishop had a dream of building a small family cabin on the two-acre lot he had purchased in the Colorado wilderness.  Comfortable with the necessary tools, he began the construction on his own.  Day after day, he walked the property and gathered up rocks to use in the building of a one-room cottage.  As the cabin began to take shape, Bishop began working on a fireplace that spiraled up from the ceiling of the cottage, giving it a tower-like appearance.  Pretty soon, friends and family would stop by and jokingly ask if he was building a cottage or a castle.  After hearing several similar comments, Bishop figured, "Why not build a castle?"

Rock by rock, wooden beam by wooden beam, the cottage soon grew into a castle.  But Bishop wasn't finished.  He continued to add on.  He created ornate rooms, breathtaking towers, bridges, a ballroom and even a fire-breathing dragon.  His creation is nothing short of indescribable and has become a tourist attraction for many who visit Colorado.  To the public, Bishop Castle is known as the country's largest one-man project, and for a while Bishop agreed with that assessment.  But during the time he worked on the project, his viewpoint began to change.  The work was being done with no blueprints or floor plans.  He was literally making it up as he went, yet somehow, all the pieces seemed to fit together perfectly.  After a while, Bishop realized that it was not chance that was bringing his dream to fruition; there was something more.  Now, Bishop describes the castle as "built by one man with the help of God."

There are a couple of important lessons to be learned from this dreamer.  First off, not only did he dare to dream, but he worked toward the dream.  So often, we have a goal, but we're unwilling to do what's necessary to achieve that goal.  We're too attached to our comfort zones to get up and do the "real work." If we want our dreams to become realities, some serious time and effort are required.

Second, when his plan took a new direction, Bishop didn't grow discouraged or defeated.  He just continued to build and trust that things would work out.  So many times, when God leads us down a new path, we grow frustrated or weary.  "But, God," we complain, "this isn't what I had in mind."  Well, Jim Bishop wasn't planning on building a castle at first either.  His plan was simple--a one-room cottage.  But look at what God accomplished because Jim allowed his plans to be changed.  What could God accomplish in our lives if we'd allow Him to make some changes?

Third, although he didn't seem to realize it at first, after a while, Jim could not deny God's part in the construction.  We need to be careful in that area as well.  When pursuing our dreams, it's easy to get our priorities and perspectives out of whack.  We become very self-focused about what we want and what we have accomplished.  But the Bible makes it very clear that without God, we can do nothing.  Let's keep that in mind.

I don't know what you're dreaming today.  I'm not privy to your innermost goals.  But God knows.  He also knows what He has planned for you, and while the two may not be exactly the same, by allowing God to tweak your dreams, you'll be able to accomplish something far greater.  A castle instead of a cabin.  The will of the Lord instead of the will of yourself.  Remember, God has promised to give us abundantly above all that we could ask or think.  That includes our dreams and goals.  Will you settle for your dream, or will you allow God to make it even better?

Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. - Psalm 37:4