I have a bit of explaining to do…
I’ve been AWOL since the end of June and now all of a sudden I want to resurface in September like nothing happened…
Well, technically, that last part is inaccurate because I’m not planning on downplaying the reasons why I couldn’t locate/allocate/formulate the time to write on my blog… I’m actually planning on writing all about it, so we’re all clear.
Long story short? My schedule changed… Dramatically.
I went from a full-time student who studies at home all day to a full-time receptionist/stationery lady/data capturer / filing clerk and petty cash manager at an engineering consultancy by day, a full time BA Communication Science student by night, odd-job contractor for my mother on weekends and praying about a certain somebody who let slip while we were stuck on the side of the road after the car’s engine failed that he’s praying about me to start praying about a ring, a white dress with a train, an altar, some vows, three kids, a dog and a white picket fence in the near future.
Let’s just say these past three months blew in a fresh wind of opportunities, breakthroughs, strides towards my maturation as an adult, new friends, new feelings, promises, plans, but also, a whole lot of learning curves, miss-steps, confrontations, reality-checks, and struggles into my life…
At best, it’s overwhelming… It sometimes feels as though I might have bitten off more than I can chew…
Ever feel like that?
Like everything you’ve ever prayed for is suddenly hurtling at you at a million miles per second, when what you really expected (or really hoped for) was for God to drag His Godly feet at a Godly pace with all the answers and all the changes they brought… Because you were comfortable where you were.
With Mom and Dad.
Every bill paid and all my favorite shows recorded on the PVR.
And what did I do?
I closed my eyes and took the plunge.
The first month at my new job was difficult.
I wasn’t used to working. I wasn’t used to being ordered around and my actions evaluated. I wasn’t used to accounting for everything, reporting everything, then going onto filing it and repeating the whole process. I wasn’t used to the phone ringing off the hook all day and every time I answered it, there was a new person on the phone that I had to be pleasant towards no matter how I felt at the time. I wasn’t used to how little sleep I was getting and how early I was getting up in the mornings. How easy assignments at school had suddenly started to hurt my brain every time I tried to complete them. How my feet hurt at the end of the day and how I’ve recently become a champions-league coffee-drinker because the caffeine keeps me going when I usually would’ve sat down, crossed my arms and said “That’s It! I’m done!”
And I realized I was in the rat-race. The same rat-race I had always warned myself against being a part of when I had all the time in the world to give myself good advice.
The more I got into the whole receptionist thing, the more miserable I was on the drive home and the sleepier I was when it was time for me to be up the next morning. This was all until I was asked by the I.T guy at the office to edit some copy for a website he was working on. I admit I might’ve grumbled under my breath that I’m always being asked to do work that isn’t even on my job description on my way to his office, but as soon as I was on that chair, and the spelling mistakes were jumping at me like bugs on a spotless windscreen, the grammatical errors were yelling at me at the top of their voices for me to put them out of their misery, and I looked at him and said “This thing needs to be re-written” which was another way of saying, “Have no fear oh innocent civilian, this looks like a job for Super Lindi!”
Just like that, I was writing again. That’s when I remembered I had a blog. That it was how I ministered to the people around me. That I had dreams that sprawled out beyond the confines of that front desk for acres upon acres. That I planned on having my own office on the top floor of a company that I had planted and grown. Plans of traveling the world. Plans of being at the cutting edge of social change and being a solution to the problems that young Africans much like myself are struggling with. Plans of being blessed to be a blessing.
But I just hadn’t entertained those plans in a while because it looked like too much effort to get there… Like it would take too long… Like people would never take me seriously because people already think I’m over-ambitious before I’ve even started… Like I don’t have the means or the connections to pull it off… Like I lacked the talents, intelligence, the star-quality to get there… So I parked them and dealt with real life instead.
Richard Bolles calls the “not allowing yourself to dream” part the “Safekeeping Self.” This is where we make every excuse we can think of to not take action or to dream big. “What if my spouse doesn’t like what I do,” “It’s childish to just sit around and dream about impractical things,” or “I don’t have the time for such.”
Although this concept is nothing new, how many of us would you guess still insert the “Yes, buts…” into our thoughts and we excuse ourselves from dreaming big.
I mean, it’s all good and well when we’re told to dream by pastors and Oprah… But why bother if you’re okay where you are?
Well, here’s my take:
•There are not many feelings that could be considered better than knowing that you’ve found the true meaning and purpose of your life. Perhaps you don’t know what your true calling in life is yet, but I can guarantee you that you won’t get to that point if you can’t even imagine it.
•When you dream big, you open yourself up to opportunities and stand a better chance of recognizing them and being ready to take them up when they present themselves in their various forms in your life.
• You may even end up achieving more than you ever thought you could before you started dreaming. For example, you might be at a crossroads where you’re considering whether or not to get a job in a certain field or start a business in that same field. The job is a safe bet with a likely limited salary. The business is the “big dream” that can provide fulfillment and not just the salary potential. You’ll be personally fulfilled and you’ll achieve more for your hard work.
•Big dreams are the reasons why the world changes for the better. It’s the reason why there have been so many great inventions, and cures for diseases, etc. Big dreams give you the opportunity to truly leave your mark on the world and to leave a legacy for future generations.
•Life is way too short to just sit back and wait for something to happen to you… And sometimes I think it’s way too long for that too. After all, you don’t get to restart your life over again once you reach the finish. So you might as well dream big since you won’t get another chance to do it. Don’t settle for mediocrity. Big things can and do happen to people who have the courage to pursue them.
•The good thing about dreaming big is that it allows you to fall short and still gain a lot. Confucius once said “If you shoot for the stars and hit the moon, it’s OK. But you’ve got to shoot for something. A lot of people don’t even shoot.” Dreaming big pushes you to heights you might not have reached otherwise.
•Sometimes you need to ask big in order to really get anything accomplished. Matthew 7:7 says: ” “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock
and the door will be opened to you.” God didn’t put terms and conditions in small print after that… He didn’t say ask only for what you think is okay to ask for… Or ask only for what you’ve seen Him do before. He didn’t want us to put limits on what He can do… What He can give us. What we can discover in this life when we take the time to explore the possibilities. Or what doors can be opened if we just take the time to knock.
So ultimately, what I want to know is: are you still dreaming, or are you just lying there with your eyes closed?