FLAGSTAFF, AZ. Someday when my hands are trembling so that I can’t even manage to wipe the drool off my chin, and I am left alone with nothing but my memories, I will know that my life moved no further than the summation of my dreams.
My life’s work has given me a chance to look into the eyes of thousands of people, to consider their expressions, to notice their choices, and to listen to their worldviews. I am a voyager on a quest to figure out how and why certain people break through the emptiness and confusion of their circumstances into a thriving life replete with creative freedom. I pray to understand the prime activators of creative freedom, the internal thinking processes that are owned by those who catalyze their dreams from their imaginations into existence.
Last night our family had dinner with Ginny, who spent the summer of 2009 with us in Indonesia. I wrote about Ginny in my book A Certain Risk. This 20 year old represents to me the hope of her generation. She’s had a rough year, but she is faithful. She reminds me that all great dreams are challenged by an impossible obstruction, and this is where many dreams wither up and die. The rarest of dreamers finds the courage to turn inward, where from the depths of the soul, she cries out to God for help.
This is precisely where my little sister Ginny is today.
Ginny will discover that without fail, God knows and hears the cry of her soul. God is transforming her into a storm chaser. Through the thunderous squall, she is learning to thrive in a crystalline awareness of the quiet presence of the Spirit. Faith is becoming her steadfast new reality even as clouds burst over the rampaging, turbulence of her life. In every direction she turns, grace will abound. Her experience of prayer will never be the same. She will find herself exulting in an intrepid journey that leads from one miracle to another.
We are now finally seeing signs that the movement of Jesus is crouching and poised to unleash the most powerful generation of visionary dreamers into human history. There is a longing in their eyes for something deeper. All over this nation, I hear them talking about audacious dreams. This gets me jazzed up for the future. We are being purified. I wonder if Christianity has ever been so poised to rise up and soar.
It is hard for me to fathom why we hear so many pessimistic comments about young people these days. Granted, we have chided them for the panic in their eyes during any moment they are stranded between hotspots. But to their astonishing credit, many of them have shaken off the slumber and are rising from the fog. Their greatest challenge will be to master the art of activating their dreams. They will need to shift their beautiful imaginations into gear and find the will to infuse their dreams into the world beyond cyberspace; the real world where cynical hearts and unbelieving minds wait anxiously to wage war against them. They will need to forge the mind patterns and heart attitudes that will help them dream for the impossible, then chase down those dreams and exist within them. They must live with increasing clarity. Life is a day shorter every night. They must desire to seize the divinely appointed moments God places before them, and to redeem whatever time they have left. The stakes are much too high for us to waste opportunities perpetuating the cycles of irrelevance. We must focus our efforts on what counts, learning to “discern what is best.” (Philippians 1:10)
Ginny, you inspire me. You will know what it is like to experience the creative power of the Spirit of Christ rising from within you, awakening dreams within you, advancing through your life and changing the world you live in. Your dreams will persist, even on the winds of resistance, advancing boldly and effectively into defiant zones of oppression. Rise up today, filled with hope and certainty that God is unleashing his kingdom through you.