Saturday, September 27, 2008

"The Dream Giver"

He started the Walk-Through-The-Bible
ministry in 1976, to guide people through the 66 books of the Christian Bible. His "Seven Laws of the Learner" remains etched into the minds of many people, used by many Churches and helped in the discipleship of young Christian believers. You can read about the 7 laws here, here, or here. His book, the "Prayer of Jabez" released in 2000 continues to be popular. "The Dream Giver" comes hot on the heals of that success. The Dream Giver is Wilkinson's update of the age-old classic: "Pilgrim' Progress." In The Dream Giver, Bruce Wilkinson shares his journey through the different stages of his life pursuing a dream he has. Through the parable of "Ordinary," who is a "nobody" in the "Land of Familiar." One day, Ordinary receives a Big Dream from the Dream Giver. Much like Abraham who was told to leave his country of origin to go into the land of Canaan, Ordinary is given a dream. To move from being a 'Nobody' to a 'Somebody.'
The Big Dream told him that he, a Nobody, was made to be a Somebody and destined to achieve Great Things. (Bruce Wilkinson, The Dream Giver, OR: Multnomah,
2003, p14)
The story has a very familiar line for many people who feels stuck in the rut. Here's a brief synopsis with some excerpts from the book.

In the Beginning........
It starts with a dream and novel excitement. As Ordinary embraces his big dream, he gets all pumped up. He decides to pursue his dream, say goodbye to his 'Ordinary Job' and leaves his comfort zone.He moves from the safe & secure familiar for the scary & unknown unfamiliar. Ordinary on reflection writes:
It was hard to leave my comfort Zone. But it would have been even harder to leave behind my dream, and I'm glad I didn't.... My Big Dream was on the other side of that invisible Wall of Fear. I had to step through it. I didn't think I could but I did. (26)
At the Border
Sometimes, it is at the threshold of change that fear and uncertainty peaks. It is the last exit before the border, the final parachute to jump off the plane, the remaining last moment to turn around and go back. All that combines to lift fears up to a chilling crescendo. Often this is made worse by please from loved ones. At the border, the dream-seeker meet 'nobodies' who try to dissuade him. Finally, he has to choose. Either to please the nobodies and the Familiarzoners, or to obey the Dream-Giver. Based on a promise, he proceeds in pursuit of his dream.
Ordinary, if you've found this boat, I know you've chosen to please the Dream Giver. Enjoy a dry crossing! Your dream is waiting for you in the Land of Promise. I promise! (Champion) (32)
Temptations and Discouragement Steps In
Once the enthusiasm wears off, reality seeps in. The dream-seeker travels into wasteland where he quickly consumes his food. He needs replenishment. Dryness and Exhaustion forms a potent combination for despair. He allows doubt to make the whole situation worse..until he found Faith.
Now I see that the Wasteland was not a Waste! It has taught me to trust the Dream Giver, even when he's nowhere in sight. (41)
Entering the Sanctuary
The dream-seeker soon arrives at a sanctuary. Here he receives a shocking request. The Dream Giver spoke to him and asked him to give back the dream. It was a difficult struggle. Eventually, he learns that "I am surrendering my Dream to you, Dream Giver. I've decided that it's you that I can't go on without." It was hard at first but greatly liberating for the dream-seeker. Toward the end, amazingly, this dream was returned back. Just like Abraham who was asked to offer Isaac as a sacrifice unto the Lord, and who eventually receives Isaac back alive as the Lord provided another sacrificial lamb. It made the dream-seeker realize that:
The Dream Giver gave my dream back to me. Now it is part of his big dream - and that means my dream is a lot bigger than before. May I always use it to serve him! (49)
Defeating the Giants
Journeys toward any dream are never easy. There are giants to overcome. The dream-seeker realizes that the biggest enemies are not the physical presence of danger but the insidious presence of unbelief. He writes:
Before I met my first giant, I met the Commander. He told me that I am a Warrior! He showed me that my weapons are every Truth I've learned on my journey. Unbelief is dangerous. So far, I have chosen to believe. But it feels risky every time. (59)
The Land of Promise
Dear Father,

I'm writing to you after a very long journey.
but I made it! I'm living in the Land of Promise and
watching my Big Dream happen all around me. And
to think it all started with sticks and mud when I was
a boy!

Father, I discovered that every Nobody has a
Dream, and it's never too late to pursue it! I know you
thought your Dream died, but a Big Dream never dies.
your Dream is here somewhere, waiting for you.
and if you don't pursue it, something very important
won't happen.

Of course, Mother has a Big Dream too! I can't
wait to see both of you!

Father as you see, I'm sending you my feather. It
will help you on your journey. It will lead you straight
toward a miracle that has your name on it.
I miss you!

Love your son

In summary, the Christian journey is like this parable. One starts with a high, gets challenged along the way, and only through perseverance and faith, one gets into the land of promise. This modern rendition of Pilgrim's Progress is a simple idea. It aims to spur one to leave the comfort of the ordinary which makes one nobodies. Instead, they should venture into unfamiliar territory in order to become somebody. Right on. We are indeed what we choose. What kind of life will you choose? Pursue your dream at the risk of uncertainty, or protect your current assets which is safe and secure (for the time being)? You choose.


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