Identifying With Joseph
I am one of those people who dreams big dreams. There isn't a day that goes by where I don't have a new idea. I am often plagued by ideas in the middle of the night, causing restlessness and disrupted sleep. It can be the design for a crafting project or an idea for a business. Whatever the idea the dream is vivid and many times I find myself excited by the prospect of what if I could make this dream a reality.
Lately I've had a ton of business ideas. I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit. I owned my own motel, home business, and I currently do freelance graphic design work to supplement my income. I prefer to work for me than for anyone else. This desire for independence doesn't stem from a position of the money I could make on my own, but more from a desire to do something more meaningful, challenging and fun. The best jobs are those that we enjoy doing.
I have taken my dreams and put them into pictures by way of 3D models like the one above. I've written rough business plans for others. I've spent hours talking with a friend about a Coffee Resort idea that would be set at the beach on the West end of Galveston Island. I can see a seaside building on stilts with a massive deck and hammock swings, Adirondack chairs, and fire pits. I imagine sunrise parties, kite festivals, and beach combing events that draw the tourists to a relaxing place for coffee and home baked goodies. It is quite elaborate, so much so that I have designed a logo, and merchandise. Dreamers sometimes go overboard.
I've spent countless hours designing an art studio for recent graphic design grads to start off in the world of freelance in an environment that provides them with freelance client contacts, and the training to run their own freelance design business. I have a dog resort at the beach, and a food truck that sells my grandmother's twists. I have designed a one day t-shirt shop that does direct to fabric printing. I've planned a home for young ladies who have outgrown the foster care system. I have envisioned a wedding venue based on fairy tale houses in an enchanted forest setting.
Today's dream happened while I was watching a video on Facebook. It was one of those someone had posted and I was instantly struck with an idea for an art therapy business to help people to heal and give them a source of income. What this artist was creating was so simple that anyone could do it, even if they had no previous art experience. The end results were stunning. My brain was going crazy.
I've always been a dreamer. From the time I was young my mind would wander while I was at school. I don't remember back then what I was dreaming about, but I know that at least two of my teachers recognized this quality. One of them smacked me on the head with her pencil almost daily and the other gave me a day dreamers award at the end of the school year.
This part of my personality is why I identify with Joseph of the Bible. His dreams were bigger than mine in that he dreamed of being ruler over his own brothers and father. I don't think that Joseph's dreams were out of arrogance, but more out of God's plan for his life. God knew there would be a famine. Because of his promise to Joseph's father, grandfather and great grandfather God needed to make sure that his people would survive. Joseph becoming second only to Pharaoh in Egypt and having the wisdom to prepare for the famine, was exactly what was needed to preserve Israel and his children.
Have you ever seen that question that network marketers use to entice people to join their home-based business? What would you do if you know you could not fail and money was no object? So why do I have such elaborate dreams? I have no money to bring about any of them. Is it an over active imagination or just a desire to do something that is fun or that makes a difference?
I Imagine Jesus with a bag in his hand. On the outside of the bag is the word "DREAMS". Every once in a while he opens that bag and drops a dream in my lap. Is he teasing me? I don't think so. I think he is encouraging me to keep dreaming. Psalm 37:4 says "Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart." I heard a pastor say once that we God will give us whatever we want if we delight in him. He said we need to turn that upside down. If we delight in God then he will give us the dreams to dream that align with who he made us to be. In other words he will put within us the desire to be who he created us to be. Well, yeah! That makes much more sense in the light of God's will.
My mother gave me a poster once when I was a teenager. She used to get frustrated with me because I never asked for anything. The poster simply said, "Ask and you shall receive." She wanted me to know that if I asked her for something and it was within her power to give it, that she would be happy to do so. I have never forgotten that. It made me see her in a different light and made me understand that as my mother she wanted the best for me. God is no different.
Imagine Jesus wanting the best for us. His best for us is to live out his design for our lives. So why wouldn't he drop hints in our mind and heart of what we were put here to do? Why wouldn't he give us a poster to remind us that all we have to do is ask? The closer you get to Him the more you delight in his presence. I have found this to be quite true. The more I delight in his presence the more vivid and powerful my dreams have become. I don't know what his plans are. I just know that we are getting closer to the big reveal.
Dreamers gotta dream!
Matthew 7:11 "If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!"
James 4:8 "Come near to God and he will come near to you."
"If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."