I haven't talked a whole lot about Leadership Institute on my blog but I had a friend ask me to share some of what I learned and what I thought and what I came away with from those two very busy days. So, I started going through all of my notes again trying to put it all into perspective. There is just so much information!
As I looked through my notes though, one thing really jumped out at me and it is something I have been mulling over ever since the conference, without consciously being aware of that fact. Bill Hybels was the guest speaker on the last day and this is actually the last point that he made in his talk. He said "pay attention to the whispers from God. Big things start with a whisper."
A whisper or that still small voice. What is God saying to me about my life? What is God saying to me about church and ministry and where is it all going? How is it growing? Do I listen? Do I hear? Am I acting on what I hear? Big things, visions, dreams. That's the stuff that the future is made of, something to work towards.
If I have to be honest with myself (tough but necessary) here's the honest truth. I'm leery of dreaming. I'm hesitant to hope. Things are changing alright, but not necessarily for the better. When you deal with people who think everything is just honky dory and have no clue as to what you're talking about...it's like speaking a foreign language. Add to that the day to day realities of just confronting what pops up and has to be dealt with, I feel like I'm too busy dealing to do much dreaming.
It's not that I don't dream-I have plenty! It's more feeling like they are simply pipe dreams. They are nice, warm, fuzzy thoughts without any possibility of becoming reality. Perhaps this is my cynical wandering in the desert stage. On the plus side, the desert is usually the stage when I find the most growth spiritually. If you survive this, you can take on the next big challenge! Toughened up by one challenge at a time! Walking by faith, not by sight.
And perhaps that is why the whispers are becoming so much more constant and insistent. I hear them and do not see how these dreams can be accomplished. But God is so much bigger, he can see so much farther and he is able to do all things!
Trust, believe and dream, the whispers say to me. What is just beyond the horizon is going to be awesome to see! I hope so! Lord help me to believe! Help me to believe in your big God given dreams!