Community. Conversation. Connection.

Dreams Require Faithfulness

I once saw an interview with John Grisham, the immensely popular author of books like The Firm and A Time to Kill. He was promoting a new book, of course, but he also took emailed questions from viewers. One question in particular caught my attention. Someone had asked what it takes to be a great writer and with over 225 million books in print at that point, he was obviously qualified to answer with substantial authority.

I listened intently as he gave this simple reply: a page a day, you have to write a page a day. To some, it probably sounded too simplistic and therefore they disregarded it immediately—just another quick blurb in our world of noise. But the advice struck me again with the reality that you can’t escape the process.

We’ve all heard clichés like “practice makes perfect,” but greatness is not thrust on us or handed to us. It’s earned and walked out in the process of everyday, “boring” life. It’s being disciplined enough to cultivate the gifts that God has given you and being faithful.

Talent isn’t enough; opportunity isn’t enough.

What good would it do to have great opportunities thrown at you time after time and you weren’t ready to do anything with them. Will Rogers said, “even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” We can have great potential, but sitting there and wishing somebody would notice will get us nowhere.

When I heard Mr. Grisham give his advice (back in 2008), it reminded me again of what I had neglected. It was one of the reasons I started this blog later in the year. Whatever dream God has placed within you, discipline yourself to work at it, learn about it, and simply do it. It’s the only way we’ll reach our goals.

It’s the daily choice. We have to be ready to weather the storm of our emotions, our tiredness, our critics, and everything else to forge ahead day after day. We are charged with the responsibility to cultivate and use what God’s planted for the advancement of His Kingdom.

Besides all that, you’re never alone. God breathes on you by His Spirit and enables you to walk to walk in His wisdom and grace in ways you never thought possible. Today could be the day you explore those buried gifts. Today you can write your page 1, whatever that may be, and keep going every day until you get what God’s put in your heart to go after.

What do you think? Do you struggle with this? 

10 Comments

  1. Thanks for the encouragement Jason. There have been different times I have felt like I ought to do something but then let it slide. Who am I? What can I say that hasn’t already been said? Lately, Floyd has been encouraging me to write a book based on my life experiences. I have hedged on it with the “I have no clue where to start or what to write” thought. maybe I ought to pray more about it (because I still feel that way).
    bill (cycleguy) recently posted..ProofMy Profile

    • Yeah, I’m trying to write a book too and this today is my encouragement to myself to really get back into it. There is no substitute for discipline. I would love to read a book about your life experiences, Bill. I’ll be praying God leads you in His wisdom and timing. Thanks so much.

  2. I’ve definitely been run over on the right track before. It’s funny how we think sometimes. God has spoken, and I believe it so any minute now He’s just gonna drop down what I need. God loves us unconditionally; but I wonder how many times He thinks, “Take a step dummy.” Great encouragement today.
    Philip recently posted..The Truth Is…..My Profile

    • I don’t think God calls us dummy, but I do know what you mean. :) It’s that whole “waiting is an active pursuing” thing that we all seem to have trouble remembering. We want it all in some supernatural display when there are usually very concrete practical steps He leads us in to get where we’re going. Thank you, Philip.

  3. It’s often easy to tell whose dream will come to pass and which ones won’t just by the person’s work ethic. Now, granted, work ethic isn’t the only factor in making a dream a reality, but dreams take work. Hard work. Work that most people will never see.

    I don’t say this out of pride at all, but when someone says they wish they could do what I do, in way of learning mission trips, heading up a multi-campus ministry, etc, my response always is: do what I do. Give up your vacation time six years in a row to do lead mission trips. Put yourself out there and contact churches to speak. Get up early and stay up late getting things done for your dream.

    It may take hard work, but eventually, that work pays off.
    Jason Vana recently posted..A Working RelationshipMy Profile

    • And God honors the faithfulness, both in this life and in eternity. That doesn’t mean it’s always easy, but the cross wasn’t easy either and Jesus went there for “the joy set before Him.” He didn’t like the hardship or shame or horror of it, but the lives He was setting free was more important. Good thoughts, Jason. Thank you!

  4. I’ve never been an ambitious long range dreamer. I tend to be more of the day by day doer. Some may criticize me for it, others will sympathize. In the end, it’s the same thought… in order to move forward we must move and do and be.

    As a side note you can file under ‘when will I ever need to know that?’ trivia: John Grisham comes from a Christian family. His mother was very active in women’s missions.
    Dusty Rayburn recently posted..We Do Not Shrink BackMy Profile

    • Cool to know about Grisham. And I’m glad there are all kinds of people out there--the big dreamers and the everyday faithful. We can learn from each other! Thanks Dusty.

  5. I try to write a lot. I’m in one of those burn out phases, not to mention I’ve been out of town quite a bit lately and going again the end of the week. This is great advice. You want it? You gotta do it! While it doesn’t mean we’re entitled to be famous or rich, it does mean we will gain much wisdom and gratification from doing what it is God born us to do. If our gift is from Him and we don’t follow up on it, aren’t we guilty of dishonoring the one who gave the gift?

    The thing I love about writing is it reveals the heart of the writer… if it doesn’t, it will never amount to anything for anybody…

    • Now, I am very sure it’s maybe a little easier (maybe) for a writer who makes millions of dollars writing--maybe even those who just make a living at it. We all have to start somewhere though. Like you said, it’s not about riches and fame, but using the gifts God gave us and stewarding them effectively. I do agree we dishonor Him when we don’t do anything with what He gave us (look at Matthew 25 and the parable of the talents). Thanks so much, Floyd.