So often I’ve believed in a dream with everything I’ve had, and in my hope, set goals to see it come true—only to end up watching it fail before my eyes. I’ve felt like a boy who spends a summer hand-carving his airplane from balsawood, a plane intimate and personal, a gift for his dad. But when he releases it before him into the sky, a great wind suddenly rises up and smashes it into the trunk of a cottonwood.
Why? What’s the purpose in putting my effort into something when I know it will fail? Even though I may have stopped carving balsawood airplanes, I haven’t stopped carving dreams. So why have them? In such a terrible storm?
Well, simply put, so I can keep being carved myself. His desire is not only for me to carve with my hands a genuine gift, but to be carved by His hand, and to keep being carved, often by a sorrow paring the deepest part of my soul, bringing to light an iridescence in my humanity.
I may have dreamt in flying airplanes as a boy, truly believed I could fly inside one, but over time my dreams have gone deeper: Just to give love. To sacrifice for another’s need. To build up. To see a barrier fall. To hone my eyes into the heart of a man, and lift him. To shower my wife with grace and love and to understand her heart. To dare. And to forgive.
But it is costly to believe. If I truly believe something, then my actions will prove it. I’ll follow my faith wherever it leads. And the costliest dream I can imagine is to follow Jesus, because it requires a sacrifice from every part of my being. To follow Him, I must be trimmed and made leaner in spirit, in soul, in His body—a new man made dangerous for His use. If I let Him into my heart, He’ll carve me out from the inside. And it’s painful.
But good. Because Jesus’s Dream is life for us. In heaven eternally. And here on earth, even with its failings. And I know even despite my conscience that the only way to truly experience this life is to allow Him to carve me out of the cords and webs imprisoning me, to be loosened into a freedom such as I could never have imagined. Life in Him is genuine freedom. There’s nothing better.
So why did He even bother with me, when it was so painful for Him to be carved for my sake, to be destroyed, cut off from the land of the living? Because He loves me. And He knows how to make me fly.
“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” ~ 2 Peter 1:5-8