You're Not Too Old To Realize Your Dream
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
As children, we were masters at the art of dreaming. From a young age, we all had dreams of what we would become when we were older. We pretended to be teachers, firefighters, dancers, super heroes, rock stars, nurses, and ninjas. Our dreams were far-fetched and sometimes unrealistic to the adults in our lives.
But as we grew, many of us started to chisel our dreams down to manageable proportions. We began to think that our dreams were too big to accomplish, and out of self-preservation, we sat them high upon a shelf...forgotten.
I believe that dreams are a part of our DNA. A dream is a thought that keeps coming back over and over. True dreams don't go and come. They stay with us and never leave us alone.
I remember being a little girl, probably six, and writing a book about a "Cat Family." Can you imagine how awesome it was? Ha Kidding. I wrote in my journal daily while also writing poems, songs, and stories. This has been something I have always done. It is part of who I am. I am a writer. Even if I am not paid to write, I have to write just like I have to breathe. If no one was around to read what I wrote, I would still write. My thoughts haunt me and pester me until I put them down on paper.
Is there something in your life that haunts you the same way?
Writing to encourage others is part of my dream. Dreams can be a spiritual blueprint for what God has in store for us. Dreams drive us to fulfill our purpose and calling.
Some dreams are not from God. Usually, those can be realized without God and are selfish in nature. But the dreams God places inside of us--those God sized dreams--are unstoppable and require his hand in order for the dreams to be accomplished.
While working at the college, I saw a number of non-traditional students. Some were retired but still looking to make a dream a reality. But it seemed a lot of people over the age of 55 had given up on their dreams. They figured if the dream hadn't happened by now, it's wasn't going to happen.
I decided to do a little research on people who accomplished dreams a little later in life.
The obvious is Abraham and Sarah who had Isaac, Sarah's first born son, at the ages of 90 and 100.
Julia Child didn't learn to cook until she was almost 40 years old, and she didn't begin her cooking show until she was in her 50's.
Andrea Bocelli didn't begin to sing opera seriously until he was 34. Most people would think that is too old to even begin such a profession.
Harlan Sanders, a.k.a. Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken, was 66 when he began to build his restaurant brand.
Laura Ingalls Wilder didn't start writing as a columnist until she was in her 40's. The books that she wrote, "Little House," were not written until she was in her 60's.
Neal Armstrong was 38 when he first set foot on the moon.
Walter Hunt patented the safety pin at age 53. Hey, I think safety pins are pretty handy. ;)
At 62, J.R.R. Tolkien, published the first volume of "Lord of the Rings."
There are others who were much older than the people above when they made their dreams reality.
I offer these examples to you as encouragement. You are NOT too old to accomplish your dream. If you don't know what that dream is, ask God to reveal it to you and pay attention to what motivates you. What keeps floating through your head over and over?
God-given dreams fight for our attention. We catch ourselves thinking about it in the shower, on our ride home from work, at night before we go to sleep.
What thought won't you let go of even if you try? It's almost like it has you held hostage and captivated simultaneously. That could be your dream. Reach up on the shelf, take it down, and dust it off.
Dream big like you did when you were a child. Stop trimming your dreams and goals down to fit a practical and realistic mold because that is the "proper thing to do."
When building your dreams, think about foundations that will last. Two things come to mind: truth/God's word and people. Fame and power fade away, but using a God given dream to invest in people and in truth will leave a legacy for future generations. It can change history.
So, I ask you, "What did you want to be when you were little?" Is it something you still think about and seek? Or maybe you don't have a dream right now and think it's too late to have one. Wrong. You are not too old to reach the finish line, dream in hand. Trust God to reveal it to you in his time.
Do you believe Jeremiah 29:11 that your steps are ordered? If so and you have been walking in obedience to the Lord, you must stop telling yourself that it's too late or that you are too old to do anything legacy worthy.
Ask Jesus for your dream. Ask him to help you not miss his calling on your life. Believe him to answer you. Listen for his whispers. Stay positive and have faith. Receive what he has for you with open hands. Act accordingly to put the feet to the vision he has given you. And never let go of the dream he has for you.
Heavenly Father, thank you for placing your dreams inside of us. Thank you for giving us God-sized dreams. Thank you for imprinting on our hearts the purposes and desires you have for our lives. We know that you are the Creator of all things good, and that you have plans for us to prosper on this earth until we are reunited with you again one day. We thank you for being such a good, good Father. We praise you for your holiness and your help in getting us where we are going. Your grace is enough. Your mercy is sufficient. In Jesus's name, Amen.