If you have never attempted to do something bigger than yourself; you have never lived. If you’ve not had the chance or the courage or the will to pursue a dream, you have developed the ability to exist, but have not experienced life. If you are waiting for everything in your world to be in perfect order, for the perfect moment in time when the obstacles are overcome so you can then pursue your dream - you wait in vain. It is rare for a dream to happen in the absence of overcoming obstacles and staring down defeat. Instead, I read stories about people who persist in moving forward and finding ways over and under and around and through the dream-killers blocking the way.
Have you thought about your dream lately? Have you taken time to write out what you can imagine it might look like? Have you listed what needs to happen in order for you to achieve it? Have you enlisted God’s help by praying and asking Him to show you what you can do with your life? Give it a shot. You might be surprised at what comes to mind. When we originally decided to make The Torch a reality, we started looking for a building in which we could build a licensed kitchen to use to serve children and teens. We prayed and searched for just the right location. After pursuing that, finding nothing suitable, and trying to figure out what to do for NEARLY A YEAR - the idea of a food truck came to Sarah.
Sarah was exactly the right person to be inspired with that idea, because she is open and willing to take nontraditional approaches to achieving her goals. When the idea of using a food truck came to her, she owned it and pursued it. Were there obstacles? Oh yes. We didn't know anything about founding a nonprofit organization OR operating a food truck. We didn't even know the initial steps we had to take to start a nonprofit. We didn't know the process or the paperwork or what government entities we had to involve. We didn't own a food truck, didn't know anyone who did and had no idea how to go about getting one, not to mention the fact we were clueless how to utilize one. The afternoon Sarah shared the food truck idea with me, we were eating tacos at Taco Bell. We grabbed a napkin and a pen and began to compose a list of ideas for The Torch as a food truck project.
For The Torch, as it looks today, that list of ideas for utilizing a food truck would appear to be the first step in the pursuit of this mission. In reality, the first steps occurred long before we dreamed on the napkin. The dream started to become reality when we made the decision to pursue the idea of helping children and teens with a food ministry and started looking at possible locations. We kept moving forward, despite the obstacles we faced as one building after another proved not to be right for us. There were times when The Torch looked impossible and we thought about giving up. But we were beginning to understand what it means to really live, because dreaming about the potential we could have for helping people invigorated and excited us and kept us moving forward. In reality, even though often it seemed like nothing was really happening, a great deal of something was actually happening. Every time we overcame a potential defeat working with The Torch, we were energized and came more to life.
Every time I meet someone who is inspired or encouraged because of something we have done or said with The Torch adrenaline surges and I realize ever more clearly how much we are born to accomplish goals which are bigger than ourselves. I think we tend to settle, especially here in the United States where quite often success is so tightly tied up with money and possessions. We think we are really living when we are looking forward to that next vacation or building the house of our dreams. I know; I lived that life. I look back now and think about how quickly the satisfaction those things gave me passed and how often I began to search for the next high. More than I like to admit, the thrill and exhilaration of my life were fed by the praise and admiration of people around me. I followed traditional paths and always played it safe, so I wouldn't upset the balance of my life and step into the unknown. I realize now, I settled.
Over these past few years, I have been learning what it is to live. I have discovered it’s nothing like what I thought it was. There is a bigger purpose for my life than I could ever imagine and I think my own self-doubts and ignorance limit my understanding of it, but hopefully, not my pursuit. There is a bigger purpose for your life than you may ever know. If you don’t take the first steps to discovering and achieving it, you most definitely will never know. Right now you are sitting at your computer, so take this moment to define a dream. Make it so big it seems impossible. Then pray, seek, grab a napkin and a pen and PURSUE!