Plans, Discipline, and Dreamers
I have been thinking, as I usually do, and maybe some would say, a little too much. But I enjoy it. I enjoy the beauty of processing life, wrestling through what I am feeling and dreaming about how to move ahead.
One thing I am really good at is making plans, and one thing I sometimes am not so good at is following through with those plans. If you have hung around me long enough, you’ve probably noticed it.
I cope through life by making a plan.
When I see something that I do not like in my life, maybe something I am struggling with, or something that feels out of control, I get out my pen and my paper, and I write out how I will change it.
But the thing is I never actually do the plan.
But why? Why do we get stuck in making plans without any life change?
I think sometimes making plans can deceive us that if we write it out or if we think about it long enough, it equates to actually doing it.
How many of us read magazines, books, and articles on eating healthy, but can’t seem to put down our can of Coke?
How many of us listen to sermon after sermon talking about faithfulness in the secret place but struggle opening up the Bible?
How many of us watch movies, read books, or like a Facebook statuses about fighting poverty, but can’t seem to stop for them on the street or go visit them where they are?
I am convicted. I am so convicted.
At the core of this beating heart is a dreamer. Dreamers see life with colours and words and ideas. They would go anywhere and do whatever it takes, because they do not see what everyone else sees; they see potential, possibility, and a promise. Like a wild horse, full of passion and enthusiasm, they find beauty in the chase.
My dreamers and my wild horses, pause with me, and breathe.
Sometimes, we get so caught up in our pursuit that we forget we are worthy of pursuit, too.
And discipline is not your enemy. I know sometimes it feels like it is when all you want to do is shout from the rooftops and run free, but it actually makes you better.
Disciplining yourself is not punishment — it is recognizing how valuable you are.
We have to stay close to His staff and His rod, not just one or the other. It is His staff that reminds us that we are His, but it is His rod that keeps us safe and from wandering. (See Psalm 23. Like right now. Actually go look.)
We need our dreams. We need the passion and the hope that you bring. You are the poets and the prophets, ushering in the wind of God to our dry bones. So dream big and dream wild.
But remember reality. Look in its windows and in its doors and see the faces and the numbers. Remind your heart that you are worth pursuit; you are worth discipline. And that plans don’t happen just because you wrote them out.
Plans happen when you get up every morning and when you start being faithful.
This is something I am hearing in every corner of my heart today and maybe I just wrote this for me. But I am soaking this in and letting it change me. Changing how I cope and approach and respond.
Maybe discipline and faithfulness are like the harnesses of dreams and passion, not because they hold back but because they lead and protect.
And I know there are some days when I wake up and my passion needs to be protected and needs to be led by the hand. Because I don’t want discouragement to have a chance.
Not a chance.
Ashley Beaudin is a 24-year-old freelance writer, visionary, and speaker. She is the editor and writer of The Story Project and the founder of Overcome the Lie. You can hang out with her some more at www.thestoryproject.org.