Walking through the airport this morning I caught a glimpse of a special Father-daughter moment and it melted me down a bit.  Dad had just come off of a plane and he was holding the hand of his little toddler blonde haired blue eyed girl.  Everything was normal until dad said a simple phrase “Do you want to run?”   The little girl looked up at her dad and smiled and then did her best version of an awkward little run through the concourse… I started smiling from ear to ear, and then realized that quite a few other people saw the same thing and they were all smiling too.  A cold hard airport concourse had just turned into a school yard for this little girl, but it had also transformed the hustle and bustle of the airport into a memory of a schoolyard for everyone who saw it.

Why did she run??

For exercise??  Of course not…. For a Race?? Heck no.  For a profit???  NO!  She ran for the sake of freedom, and it transformed her world and everyone else’s world around her into a better place.  Now answer me this… when was the last time that you just let loose and ran…. down a hill….. come on, I know you’ve done something impetuous in your lifetime.  When was the last time that you did something for the sake of freedom.  When was the last time you dreamed a crazy dream?

What were the risks incurred by the act of running for this little girl?

1) Well obviously she might fall. Yes, but she could fall walking too
2) People would see her.  Yes their is an inherent danger to standing out… we have to face our fear of being seen…. but come on man… do you really want to hide your whole life?
3) People could watch you fall.  Yes they could, but what if you don’t fall?

Have you ever considered what might happen if you chase your dream and don’t fail? 

When did we get so pragmatic?  So focused on getting work done.  Working so hard for our little pink houses…. trying to figure out how to get ahead and all the while losing what gave us hope, for the future and a peace for today.

Honestly I didn’t see what the end result of the little girl in the airport’s run was.  I didn’t care… the simple fact that she started the run gave me a sense of happiness that I can’t describe…. and a sense of hope.  It honestly changed my whole outlook on today.  Maybe that’s the reason that we should run.  Maybe if more of us would strike out on a path toward a dream that we’ve always had it would inspire more people to do the same, and before long we could change the culture to a more dream filled culture. A dream filled culture THRIVES.  Is America THRIVING today??  No… America is “getting by”.

I mean think about it… why was OBAMA so popular 4 years ago??  “YES WE CAN”  that’s why… 1 simple phrase that people believed in. I didn’t vote for him, but I had to admire the way his optimism set people on fire…. when he got elected I HOPED that he would be all that he said he would.  Why are people so frustrated 4 years later?  Mostly because somehow the “exceptionalism” of America has been deemed a bad thing.  Now we’re being told that the exceptional is BAD… SERIOUSLY???? Think about it… why did America become the super power that we are??  Because we BELIEVED WE COULD BE. Because we believed that we could rise up and lead the world.  That the lives of our children would be better than ours and because we believed prosperity was achievable?
Take a look at our country… ask about the current debt crisis and economy and they all say the same thing “hopeless”.  Well then I submit to you that we’ve already lost.

Moving on:

What is a characteristic that all of the richest people in the world share???  Optimism… the belief that in the end, they will achieve what they set out to do regarless of the current circumstances.  We could all learn from that couldn’t we?  Did you know that subjects who visualiaze making every shot from a freethrow line actually make more shots than the subjects that don’t?  There is an intangible quality that is impossible to quantify that makes you BETTER when you believe things like “I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me”.

I want my son and daughter to believe that they can do ANYTHING that they set their minds to, but how will they ever believe that if I haven’t lived that out in front of them??
I want my church worship team to believe that there is no ceiling on our ability to lead the city of Clarksville and the world, but how will they ever believe that if I don’t exemplify the dreamer?
I want the crew that rides on the Building429 bus to believe that they can achieve any dream that they desire, but how can they believe that if I don’t chase crazy dreams too?

Hilarious isnt it, that the most successful things in my life were all pipe dreams!  haha.  People told the core group that started our church that they would never make it, and that they shouldn’t try… but they did, and in 7 short years our church has become the biggest church in Clarksville, TN with eyes on influencing the WORLD.  WHY?  Because 20 crazy people left the sure thing… believing there was more… and RAN!!!

Building 429 is still a miracle.  We were huge in 2004 with a massive hit song “Glory Defined” and then we faltered and people started chattering about how we should hang it up.  Perhaps the thing I am the most proud of is the way that my brothers and I got back up after getting knocked down so far and still believed that God could do something spectacular with us.  (HELLO….  “Where I Belong”)

Here’s the point of all of this….. 

I think by and large we dream way too small.  As a nation we need a new DREAM.  All of us.  I think even now I’m personally  dreaming too small.  So how can we dream bigger?  How can we start to practice optimism on a daily basis?  We serve a huge God and He can do all things right?  So why not YOU?  Why not US??

Some questions to consider:
1) What can I do on a daily basis to help myself get into the practice of dreaming big?

2) What dreams did I have that I let go of long ago, but are still viable today?

3) What proactive steps can I put on paper to help me begin to move toward bigger dreams and the HOPE that comes with that?

4) How can I exemplify the heart of a little girl running through the airport for my friends and family so that they will find the joy that comes with dreaming and believing as well?

My hope is that you will find the courage to roll down a hill with your kids, or dance like a fool at the park with your wife and enjoy the blessings that this life has to offer.  In the end dreaming is what keeps my heart satisfied… because without a vision, a hope, a future… what do we have??  Breath?????  It’s not enough.  “Sometimes it feels like I’m Breathing but am I alive?”  Great question…. RUN… you’ll find your life!