Have you ever had a tremendous idea?
No, not the kind that is practical or realistic, in case you were wondering. I thought I’d stop you right there. No, I mean the kind of idea that was enormous and insane. Maybe even silly or unrealistic. A big dream. The kind where when you share it with people they laugh. The kind where you try to keep it to yourself but are so excited about it that you just can’t. The kind of dream that spills out of you because of your deep motivation about it. The kind that gets trampled on when you put it out there. The kind that gets accomplished after a lot of trying and crying.
That’s the kind of idea that I’m talking about.
I’ve been thinking about ideas lately. Obviously, I am a high school graduate, and my family urges me to see my future through God’s big eyes. I see those kinds of ideas for myself, and I want to accomplish them. I have a lot of those ideas in my head at this moment that were literally breathed into my brain from the mouth of God.
Sometimes I know when people think I’m crazy about it. They think they know it’ll never happen, or that I’ll just end up where I am now ten years later.
Being a high school grad getting ready to go out into the world sometimes shows you how limitless the possibilities are. I look at my future, put on a bright smile, and laugh. God closes out all of the realistic-ness that the world throws at me and just shows me ambition. Peace. Joy. Spunk. Energy. If you don’t know me very well, you’ll have to know that I get excited about everything.
And I mean everything.
Oftentimes I wonder whether it’s not so great to get so pumped over every little thing, but it is. I’m a type A personality, and God made me to get excited over things. All of the ideas and ambitions and dreams floating through my head have me excited out of my wits at the current moment.
But, then sometimes someone sneaks through the blinders and reminds you how “stupid” it sounds.
Suddenly, your dreams go to shambles, you hear the laughter. You hear the taunts. You hear the ridiculousness of your tremendous idea and you crack. You were on the moon a minute ago, and now you’re…no, where are you? You’re not even there.
After a while, you leave their company, try to forget, try to unwind. But it’s still there. In the back recesses of your mind, you hear the echoes of giggles, jabs, and puns (all of which you were the punchline).
A couple times in the last month I’ve found myself in deep reverie wondering if everything I’m really going for should be what I’m going for. Should that really be an ambition? It’s a bit wild. Maybe go for something a bit more realistic. A couple times I’ve been laughed at and belittled after presenting some amazing dreams on the table for encouragement. Nay, rather than encouragement, I found discouragement.
I remember I started praying after a big letdown with some people I knew, and the Lord literally put in my head the story of Noah. You know, Noah, the guy who built the big boat, carried his family and two of all the animals in it, and was one of the remaining eight surviving people to repopulate the earth?
Now, don’t get me wrong, the Bible does not say that Noah was laughed at while he built the ark (shocker, for some of us who grew up with VeggieTales lolz), but think about this for a second. It has never rained before in history, it’s super dry, the old man living next door starts buying lumber. You ask him what he’s doing, and he says he’s building an ark. You ask him why, and he says God told him to because water will fall from the sky and the entire earth will be covered in water. Naturally, you think this is funny, so you start laughing.
It’s highly probable that Noah was laughed at during the flood. Highly probable.
I’m not saying it did happen, but I am saying to look at the odds.
Now, let’s think about who else was laughed at in scripture for their wild, unrealistic ideas.
How about Nehemiah?
“But so it happened, when Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, that he was furious and very indignant, and mocked the Jews. And he spoke before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, ‘What are these feeble Jews doing? Will they fortify themselves? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they complete it in a day? Will they revive the stones from the heaps of rubbish—stones that are burned?’
Now Tobiah the Ammonite was beside him, and he said, ‘Whatever they build, if even a fox goes up on it, he will break down their stone wall.’ ”
– Nehemiah 4:1-3
Now, I have been going through Nehemiah with my church, but I never really got around to linking this to my life until I stopped to think about it. My God-given pursuits and passions will be attacked by the words of the world. Nehemiah’s passion was to rebuild the wall around his homeland, and as soon as he begins, nothing is easy.
It is what makes a good story.
Without opposition, a story is boring. My story, my life story, will never change the hearts and minds of others unless I was brought out of some sort of opposition.
In fact, this past week I was at a birthday party and was talking with some fellow homeschool teens about the problem of evil. It was enlightening to hear everyone’s take on the atheist’s best argument against God’s existence. In my personal opinion, however, evil is what seals the deal.
In order for us to ever achieve the tremendous ideas we have or to build our walls, we will face opposition. It’s a fact of life.
In my experience as a literature and writing student, every story needs a good plot. A conflict. If there is no conflict, a story is just plain boring. Haven’t you ever read one of those kinds of stories? You know, where one day Mary went to the grocery store and played hopskotch and then had a dream that night of UNICORN SMILES AND BUTTERFLY MILK (xD, Ally)? Just kidding, but honestly.
No. Our favorite stories are the ones full of threats, evil, and danger. Don’t get me wrong, we don’t love the evil, threats, and danger, but we love the heroes who defeat it. That is who we are in our lives. As I mentioned a few posts ago (click HERE for that), we are heroes.
Now, back to our original conversation.
It doesn’t matter that it’s laughed at. It doesn’t matter that it’s unrealistic. It doesn’t matter that everything you’ve worked towards looks stupid. In God’s plan, he uses the outrageous, the insane, the ridiculous, and the spectacular.
His teachers in school told his mother he was stupid, he’d never get through, and that he was a very naughty boy in class. So, she pulled him out of school and homeschooled him because she believed in him. Who was he?
He told his friends in the schoolyard that he would be a famous musician one day, and they all laughed in his face because he was such an ugly, poor boy with a drunk for a father. Who was he?
Ludwig Van Beethoven
He was a young man of thirty-three in bloody robes and wearing a crown of thorns. They spit in his face, laughed at him, mocked him, and beat him more than any of us will ever endure. He hung, naked, on a cross for six hours bearing upon himself the sin of the entire world. All the while, the religious leaders of the day pointing and scoffing under their breath.
And then three days later he broke the laws of death and came back to life.
Who was he?
My very own Jesus. Your very own Jesus.
And my life, here, every breath I take is proof that He accomplished his tremendous idea.
My friends, don’t be discouraged when your work is ridiculed. Don’t drown in sorrow when your next greatest idea is suddenly in the trash with the rest of the bad ones. Don’t fear the future when God has given you so much reason to look forward to it!
Therefore, when people ask me if I’m still working on my big idea novel, I’ll most certainly say
Thanks, Tom. *fistbump* (love this gif)
Oh, and before I go, do you want to know what Nehemiah wrote after talking about how badly Sanballat and Tobiah ridiculed him? After they made such a mockery out of everything he was working for, he had every right to pout and begin to doubt the work he had put in to the wall.
But, he didn’t.
“So we built the wall.”
– Nehemiah 4:6a
You heard the man.
So build your wall.
So I’ll write my book.
And remember, our Christ tells us who we are, so no matter what the world laughs at, remember who He says you are.
My beautiful mother put on this song by Hillsong United today, and it hit me right in my heart. Listen to it and be overwhelmed by what Christ says and thinks toward you. We are His heroes, His champions, so let’s pursue the tremendous ideas He’s put in each and every one of our heads.
P.S. Here’s a new poll: