Are You A Dreamer Or a Visionary?

I saw it again the other night. This lady sat there strumming her guitar and I began to drift off into the Rocky Mountains or to some other deep beautiful place.

For years I’ve wanted to play the guitar. I could  see myself sitting there, twanging the guitar like Pavrotti sings opera. I was going to be good. Then one day a friend loaned me a guitar and gave me a few lessons.

“Now David,” you think. “You’re going to say you’re really good at it.”  Nope, I still can’t play the guitar. The only things that stopped me from being excellent were the inability to screw my fingers up like a contortionist and the willingness to practice and work hard.

Other than that I had everything it took.

In some things I’m a dreamer–my guitar playing for instance. I decided that others could work and I’ll listen. But, in some things I’m a visionary. A dreamer’s dream is like a good book. It all happens in his head and best of all he’s the hero of the story. A visionary on the other hand, often smells like sweat. His heart sees what he wants to happen but his legs, arms, eyes, mouth—all of him gets involved in accomplishing what his heart sees.

Dreamers suffer a lot. “The longings of the wicked will come to nothing.” (Ps.112:10). Head-in- the- air dreamers aren’t always wicked but they “long” a lot. They want great things … dropped in their lap. They envy others who seem to accomplish so much. “Lucky,” they think. Or, “It’s not what they know, it’s who they know.” Or, “If I’d been born in that family I would have been successful, too.”

They really want what they see in their mind. They just don’t want to hustle to get it. It’s easier to whine than to change.

Visionaries, dreamers who have a dream from God, go after their dream. They fail, they get knocked down, they cry, and they get discouraged. Then they get a taste of the dream and want it even more. But, it’s still a fight and sometimes it seems that even the taste is taken away. But, they keep on going.

That God-dream is why they’re on the earth. It pulls them forward. Just imagining the fulfillment of this vision gives them almost as much joy as the moment when they finally hold it in their hand.

What most people don’t realize is that the process of winning can be as much fun as actually winning. When we’re working and striving we’re filled with hope, even if the sky seems to be falling. That hope, which comes from God, is the vital sap of our life.

Not everyone is a dreamer in the sense that they get a dream from God. Most people plug into the dream that God gives someone else and that dream becomes their dream, too. And in God’s Kingdom that’s good, because a God-dream is usually too big and requires too many different talents for one person to accomplish it. So one receives the dream and others plug in and dream and reach for it with him.

So, Moses goes to the mountain and receives a dream for a whole people. Some of them plugged in and shared in what God had given Moses but most of that generation didn’t. Ah, but that young generation, tromping around the desert with a vision of a land of milk and honey dancing before their eyes, that generation fought, sweated, and bled to take what God had given them.

Those who like things to stay as they are don’t particularly like those who dream something brighter, even if it would be better if the dream came true. Joseph’s brothers saw him coming one day and scoffed, “Here comes that dreamer!” (Gen. 37:19, NIV)

If Joseph hadn’t dreamed they would all have died in a famine. God’s family, which was the vehicle for sending the Messiah into the world, would have died out and we’d all have been lost. Way to dream, Joseph!

And you? Are you dreaming God-dreams are you just living a fantasy world in your head? If you don’t have a dream from God for doing something for God, get around someone who does. Let’s that passion that fires his soul communicate God’s vision into you. Do your part to make it happen.

Are you a flighty dreamer who never does anything to see the dream fulfilled? Are you a status quo person who is very happy with the world exactly the way it is? Or are you one of those dreamers who get touched by God and go out and change the world to be more like He envisioned it to be?

If you’re a God-dreamer, there’s a promise for you: “Praise the Lord, O my soul … who satisfies your desires with good things.” (Ps. 103:2, 5)

How do you tell the difference between a dream that’s from our own desires and a dream that comes from God? Love to hear what you’ve got to say. I’ll include your responses (or exerpts from them) in a future Coffee Stain.

Hmmm …
“First you pay!! We must to come to terms with that reality! There is a price to pay and it can not be negotiated! Jesus laid it all down and then God raised it up again … and so shall it be for us! … give it up, lay it down, let it go … pay the price that must be paid so that your mission can be fulfilled!” Terry Hoggard

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