What does it take to follow one’s dreams? Could it possibly include the faith to allow others to come alongside and participate in ways you hadn’t imagined before? How does one muster the courage to enter into the risk necessary for God to further reveal His fulfillment of the dreams He plants in our hearts? This is exactly what my beloved friends, Sean and Shilo Taylor, are discovering as they pursue their dreams with Big Oak Ministry. And many are coming alongside in big ways and small ways – according to their “being” in the world. Faith. Hope. The love of community. (If you would like to know more about Big Oak, check out their website through my Connections links in the sidebar.)
What dream would God have each of us pursue and how can we walk in humility and let others do the parts and play the roles God is calling each of them to do on our behalf? It is often hardest when we have to watch our dreams cost other people as they come alongside us. We don’t want to submit, to humble ourselves to actually need others. And yet, this is exactly what community is all about.
I know this is hard for me to do. Having been a single-again mom for so many years and having to learn to accept help in ways I never thought possible has taught me a lot about the responses of human hearts. I have alternated back and forth between genuine humility and the boiling defiance that arises from humiliation. I’ve had much time to think about the differences between humility and humiliation and mostly it comes down to focus and response. Humiliation is a response of defiance to circumstances and people when I am focused on myself – my reputation, my wants, my rights. But humility is a response of love and honor when I am focused on God and His purposes in my life and in the world around me.
With humiliation I focus on how I was wronged, and I am brought low in spirit and intellect. But with humility, I recognize my position in the Lord Jesus, and I rest in absolute confidence that God will indeed work ALL things together for good according to His purposes. Humility empowers me to keep my eyes on my Maestro and to trust His leading of this new symphony piece, a journey of wonder and beauty and inspirational movements. There are others whose parts I must recognize and marvel in the richness their differences bring to the music. There are times of rest and times of boldness and quickness. At times the music is light and joyful and times when it is heavier and the minor key takes precedence.
At all times it is important for each of us to remain focused on the Maestro and to trust in Him – knowing that as the conductor, He knows the whole piece and that all the different movements of the music combine to form a beautiful story that perfectly conveys His character and His nature and, in this case, perfectly portrays the glory of His only begotten Son. Our lives, when lived in the humility required to follow the direction of the Maestro, all together combine to portray the very nature of the Lord Jesus. But if we do not play our parts as He is directing us, we create disharmony – the screeching of an instrument out of tune or sometimes playing a completely different piece and distracting from the Maestro’s purposes.
I wish I could say that I always choose humility. But unfortunately, the truth is, that I all too frequently choose humiliation and the results of that defiance create hurt and regret. But, I can also say that I am learning, that more often than before, I am choosing humility. I am intentionally choosing to surrender my rights and my wishes to the will of the Father Who loves me so incredibly.
I, too, want to follow the dreams He has planted in my heart and cultivated over the years of my lifetime. I trust Him to complete the work He began in me. There is progress and I trust Him to reveal each step as I am prepared to walk in them. I desire for my life to be a beautiful blending with all the other musicians in this symphony of His family.
Shall we continue to practice and rehearse together and encourage each other on to good works and a heart of love and peace? Join me, and let’s keep each other accountable to our Maestro!