One of the most thought-provoking films I’ve ever seen is The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Walter is an ordinary man living an ordinary life, yet has big dreams of adventure and bravery. But Walter is far from brave. He’s timid, reserved, keeps to himself. The day finally comes when Walter has to decide if he’s ready to stop making excuses and just go. Though somewhat reluctant at first, he tosses his fears to the wind and turns his imaginative dreams into stunning realities, realizing what an extraordinary life he had been missing all along.
Imagine what the world would be like if we stopped making excuses. What if we stopped using the word impossible?
It amazes me to see all the incredibly talented, creative, ambitious people in this world. God has filled the earth with beautiful humans who have beautiful dreams. We all have our niches and knacks, plans and goals, and this is no accident! We were created to glorify our Father with our lives, and He has work for each of us to do. Whatever gifts or passions He’s given us, He has a specific calling for us to bring honor to His name. He lights a fire in our souls to pursue those passions and chase those dreams.
But sometimes we run the other way. Lately I have noticed a trend of young people, especially, who desire so desperately to follow Christ, yet resist His calling and instead linger in indecision and doubt, often losing great opportunities to be on mission for Christ. We say things like, I just don’t know what the Lord wants me to do, and end up waiting or settling on something less, when we could be taking part of His grand design for our lives. So why do we hold back? What is stopping us?
We turn doubts into excuses.
We are often our own worst enemy. Playing the devil’s advocate, we can talk ourselves out of anything. Our minds play with doubts, and we allow those doubts to trap us in stagnation. We’ll even give them “godly” labels. I need to pray about it more. I’m waiting for God to give me the green light. Do these sound familiar? Maybe you’ve heard them come out of your own mouth. Of course we should pray and seek the Lord’s wisdom, but we can’t use those as spiritual cushions to sit back and do nothing. We seek, we pray, but then it’s time to get up and go in faith. Just the fact that you have these talents and dreams in the first place is proof enough that God wants you to use them!
“God hasn’t opened the door.”
The open door/closed door philosophy runs rampant throughout the church. We assume if a situation is difficult or holds some obstacles, God has “closed the door” and we should walk away. But God has not called us to an easy, comfortable life, so our dreams won’t always be easy or comfortable either. He calls us to be challenged, to go above and beyond, to overcome. The dreams He gives us will reflect that. Sometimes He allows us to be challenged to see how far we will go to follow Him. Will we give up if it’s too hard? Or will we keep pressing forward in faith? So if a dream looks tough or even impossible, it probably is! For the sake of His glory and our good, God gives us wild, impossible ambitions that can only be accomplished through Him. It’s up to us. Will we face the difficulties with boldness and show the world what our God can do? Or will we walk away in defeat?
We are paralyzed by fear.
Fear comes in many shapes and sizes; fear of man, fear of failure, fear of disappointment, fear of expectations. They can cripple us if we let them. However, God does not want us to live in fear, but in freedom! We serve a lionhearted God who fills us with His courage and sets us free from the bondage of fear. Our love and obedience to Him must outweigh our fears, or else we will be too distracted by outside influences to be successfully on mission for Jesus. Fears are tempting, but we don’t have to give in to them. In Christ, we are confident and secure and brave.
Friends, if you’ve been hesitant about chasing the dreams God’s placed in your heart, I want to encourage you to embrace the bravery of Christ and go! It’s time to stop making excuses. It’s time to become a Walter Mitty. God calls us to an adventurous life of following Him wherever He leads, trusting deep in our great God and glorifying Him with everything we do. There is no room or need for doubt and fear. Jump off the fence and turn your what ifs into right nows. Start that business, go on that trip, get involved in that ministry, talk to that stranger, begin writing that book. Breathe faith into the dreams God has given you and stand in awe of what He will do.