By Natalie Davis
This word has come up many times in my vocabulary lately.
If I had a dollar every time someone asked me what I want to do after the summer, I would never have to work a day in my life. I like to refer to myself as a dreamer. My mom called me this once and it just stuck. I have these massive and somewhat unattainable dreams that I want to see happen in my life. (I say unattainable because I cannot adopt all the babies in the world. I would if I could, trust me).
I tend to do things on a whim. As you probably have already guessed, I like whimsy. I think that life is too short to get comfortable and never at least chase after your dreams. I like to succeed, just like I am sure all of you do too. Someone the other day told me, "hey Natalie, I just want to let you know that it is ok to fail." My thoughts exactly: I am sorry, WHAT!! No sir, it is not ok to fail. Failure is never an option.
He told me that the only true failure, is the failure to try. Smart guy.
I have had this dream for a while now. This dream often gets interrupted with inadequacy. I am not good enough. I am too young. I don't have the resources. This dream is way too big. Unattainable(I am not referring to adopting all the babies, FYI). My hope of being vulnerable with you is that I, and I invite you to as well, will keep myself accountable to always be willing to try. I am still in the adolescent phase of this dream and honestly, most of it is just now getting from my brain to paper. So stay tuned.
Have you ever found yourself dreaming? Dreaming of changing the world? Writing a book? Becoming a pro surfer? Going to Mars? Becoming a doctor? Do you often times get discouraged and believe lies? This dream is too big. I can't do it. What if it fails? What if I fail?
I have three words for you.
Chinese Bamboo Tree.
Before you think, you had all the words in the world, and you chose those three, seriously? Let me just explain.
Once this tree is planted, farmers nurture and water the seed for five years and see no growth. Five whole years and nothing to show for it. They could choose to stop watering the plant. They could lose faith and give up. BUT if they choose to continue to tend to this tree, something miraculous happens. On the fifth year, the tree grows 80 feet in six weeks. It does not take this tree six weeks to grow. It takes five years and six weeks. In the five years of waiting and what I am sure the farmers think of as a waste of time, growth was happening. The roots had to become strong enough to hold 80 feet of bamboo.
Maybe the Lord is working on your roots. Consider this a blessing, friends. If the tree started to grow when the roots weren't ready, not good news for the tree.
Even when we can't see growth right away, keep being faithful. Don't give up. Who knows how long it will take. You might not even be alive to see it through. Still, do not give up. Try. Go out on a whim. Step out. Further the Kingdom in the name of Jesus. And do not be scared of failure.
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9
This is for my fellow dreamers, keep dreaming. Let's change the world.