Do you remember when you were a kid and you had all of these dreams of what your life was going to be like when you grew up. I remember as a kid all I ever dreamed of was being a professional football player. That was all I thought about and I had no doubt in my mind that dream would come true.
I vividly remember getting my first real football helmet when I was around 8 years old. It was a shiny purple Minnesota Vikings football helmet with those white and yellow Viking horns on the side. I would throw passes to myself in my bedroom and jump for the ball and dive for it and land safely on my bed.
Well that dream didn’t end the way I had planned. My dreams of playing in the NFL were snuffed out when I had about the worst knee injury you could possibly have. I tore my ACL, MCL, PCL and my medial meniscus after an opposing player fell directly on my knee as it was firmly planted in the ground. In a fraction of a second my dreams were crushed.
Ever since that fateful day I think I have been searching for a new dream, for a new purpose. How about you? What dreams were taken away from you in your youth? Have you stopped dreaming? Have you stopped hoping for a better life? A life of vitality, purpose and adventure. A life of significance.
For many years I stopped dreaming. I just got stuck in the day to day of life. Don’t get me wrong, I have lived a blessed life despite the heart break of a devastating knee injury and a life shattering divorce.
I have two amazing children and overall my health is great. A bionic knee and hip doesn’t stop me from working out every day and pushing my body to the limit.
But at what point do we stop dreaming and thinking big? At what point do we settle for mediocre and stop taking risks? I think this has happened to most all of us. We get disappointed in our lost dreams and our broken hearts and we just settle for playing it safe. I will be the first to admit I have lived the majority of my life that way.
Playing football is a risk in and of itself. Every time I stepped on that field I knew there was a great risk, but I did it anyways. I did it because I loved the game. I loved going to battle with all of my teammates not knowing what the outcome was going to be. I left most games, bruised, bloodied and beat up. But I loved it.
I recently started dreaming again. I decided life is too short to stop dreaming. I decided to get back in the arena. To risk getting bruised, bloodied and beat up. Just in a different way. I left my safe six figure income with all the benefits that go along with it to follow my dream or should I say God’s calling for my life.
I was trying out a new church on Sunday in my new home town of Fort Collins, Colorado and the pastor was preaching on the subject of more. It was based on the scripture Ephesians 3:20-21. It says, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!
What if we started dreaming again? What if we got back in the arena and started to dream again like when we were a little kid? What if we started to take risks again, not stupid risks, but risks that would make a difference in your life and the lives of others?
God can do more in our life that we can ever imagine. His love is wide and deep for us. God can do more than we can immeasurably ask or imagine, but we have to get back in the game. Start dreaming again. Stop settling for playing small.
Start by asking God to open your eyes and heart to the dreams he has for you. Think big. Your dreams should scare you. If you can accomplish your dreams on your own than you aren’t dreaming big enough. Our dreams need to be so big that the only way to accomplish them is through 100% reliance on God’s strength.
My dream is to have a fitness ministry that reaches people that would never know God otherwise. I know I would have made many different decisions in my life if I would have had a personal relationship with God at a young age. Fitness is my platform, but my message is about having a personal relationship with God.
I have no idea how this is going to work. I don’t know what doors are going to open and what doors are going to be slammed shut. I know that my dreams are big and that I can’t do this on my own. I am praying for energy, wisdom, patience and perseverance. I pray that I can touch many people’s hearts and have an impact on many people’s lives.
I want more. I want to dream big dreams. One of my favorite quotes is from Teddy Roosevelt. “It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly…who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of a high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who have never known neither victory nor defeat.”
My challenge to you is to start dreaming again. Dream big. Get back in the arena and embrace getting dusty, sweaty and a little bloody. Remember this one thing as you go down this path. It won’t be easy, but you don’t have to do this alone. Call on God and he will guide and direct every step you take as you work to honor and glorify him.
Troy Ismir, MS