If we were sitting in my kitchen, clutching warm mugs of our favorite hot wets (mine would be Earl Grey), you may notice a special magnet decorates the side of my fridge; a gift from my daughter, Rachel. It sports the art of Laini Taylor; a collage of a pretty lady dressed in sunset shades carried by monarch wings and a quote across her skirt. “A dream is just a dream. A goal is a dream with a plan and a dead line,” Harvey Mackay. This quote has become my challenge.
I spend lots of time day dreaming of lofty accomplishments. The skills of goal setting, planning, and deadlines do not come as easily. To be honest, few of my daydreams would merit such effort for example; owning an NFL team just so I could require players to be good role models. Others are purely selfish, like wanting to learn to surf. One day I watched two hours of surfing lessons on youtube and broke my ironing board practicing. Then on vacation I actually planned to go take my first lesson but never did because my vacation ended abruptly with a family emergency. I think God was trying to tell me something.
I relate to Peter more than any of the other disciples. He daydreamed about being great in God's Kingdom; Messiah's right hand man. A dreamer who floundered between faith and failure. He didn’t lean against Jesus breast and become known as “the one whom the Lord loved” like John. He only wrote two epistles compared to Paul’s many but he was the only one who asked to get out of the boat and did it. For a few short seconds he walked on the water! Then he took his eyes off the Lord and sank but he knew who to cry out to for help. Peter may have failed but he tried. I hear God calling me out on the water as I ask Him about a certain dream; the dream of writing for publication. This dream needs to evolve into my goal. Proverb 21:5 gives me great encouragement, “The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty.” I need to quit dreaming, make a plan, then get to work. I know writing serves others because I have been served by the words of other godly authors. As stories and ideas for books swim freestyle in my head along with all the ramblings stored on my PC, I know it’s time to get out of the boat. “So sink or swim, I’m diving in.” (Steven Curtis Chapman)
The Mackay’s quote on my magnet became my plan giving me three steps to realize a dream.
· 1st have a Goal- It must be something attainable and measurable. For me it’s writing for publication. Do you have a dream that needs to be a goal?
· 2nd make a Plan- “Failing to plan is planning to fail” (unknown) Planning backwards is a proven strategy. Like before I can get a book published I need to write it, before I write it I need to organize my thoughts, before I organize my thoughts I need to know what it will be about, and so on. This plan results in the steps necessary to attain the goal.
· 3rd set a Deadline-ACCOUNTABILITY is king when it comes to deadlines. In order to have accountability, I meet weekly with another writer. We set weekly goals. So come Friday when we get together, I know what needs to be done.
Are you a dreamer like me? Do you need to turn your dream into a goal? Join me. We may try and fail but that’s better than failing to try!
Father, what works are you calling us to today? Give us wisdom to set goals and plan our work for your glory. Amen