Monday, January 4, 2010

The Dream Equation

Today’s Reading: Genesis ch 10-12, Matthew ch 4

So I was reading chapter 4 of Matthew today and the temptation of Jesus reminded me what it takes to make our dreams a reality.

Dreams = work + faith + humility

This is something that I understand intellectually but am still learning in practice.

At this point in Matthew Jesus is an adult and preparing to start his ministry. He’s been baptized by John the Baptist, God parted the clouds and publicly dapped him up and boom… time to see if he is REALLY ready.

He fasted 40 days and 40 nights. In the pursuing our dreams metaphor this represents to me the hours and hours of hard work that we must put into whatever craft or project that we are working towards in order for it to be the blessing that we want it to be. A lot of folk say that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert of something…

Yikes that’s alot… But the point is well taken.

Then he gets tempted. The strategy of the temptation is really interesting. The tempter pushed Jesus on three things that definitely resonate with me: faith in others, personal responsibility, and humility.

When Jesus refused to turn the rock into bread he was refusing to act alone along his path. Sometimes we get into that place where we think that we don’t need anyone else. Life is meant to be lived together. We need teammates, mentors, family and friends; not to mention colleagues, employees, lawyers, accountants, editors and other folk to add their support and effort to our dreams. It is usually through the people around us that God works miracles in our lives.

When Jesus refused to jump down and have the angels save him he took personal responsibility instead of putting all of the onus on God. When it comes down to it… our dreams are just that… ours. We have to do everything that we know to do in order to make them happen.

The work doesn’t stop.

I know that at times I have sat back and hoped and prayed for something to change but didn’t take responsibility for it. It’s like the person who plays the lotto every week and day dreams at home about what they’ll do with the money.

Probably not gonna get rich that way.

That may not seem as dangerous as hurling one’s self off the top of a building but it kinda is. There are few things more sad to me than a person who has stopped trying to fulfill their purpose. It’s like choosing not to live.
The last one was all about pride. So at this point, you’ve done the hard work to study and prepare, you’ve shared your dream with those around you that you can trust and God works miracles through them to help you on your path. And now your work is yielding some success.


This is where we usually get stupid. The job isn’t done yet… but we think that because we’re a bit fresher than before, or stylin a bit more than before, that we have arrived. And it’s here at this point when folk fall the hardest. It’s easy to pray and rely on God and other folk when you’re down; but how many folk can stay humble when they are on top?

How many of us can remember all of the factors outside of us that helped us get to the places we have achieved?

This to me is the thing that super successful people that I look up to have in common. Even at the top of their game, they stay humble, stay true to what got them to where they are, and recognize that they are not the main reason for their success…

I bet these folk wake up feeling like Spongebob more days than not.


  1. You know, I love that particular story and it's always the third temptation that resonates with me the most for different reasons depending on what's going on when I read it. You know how that goes. Today, as I was reading your post, I thought not only did Jesus remain humble, but he never forgot his purpose (AND that his purpose was grander than any personal glory). It is so easy to get caught up in the personal glory and believe you're cool just for the sake of you being cool. The reality is MOST likely you're cool for some higher purpose or some purpose outside of yourself. But if you're not committed and know what you're doing on the way up, you probably won't recognize it (or it'll be harder) once you've actually reached the goal.


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