When I was an 8th grader, brand new in the youth group still, we had a Disciple Now weekend. A singer/guitarist named Josh Wilson was our worship leader for the weekend. Not only was Josh very personable, but he was insanely talented. That weekend was impactful for my spiritual life for many reasons, but one of them was the worship that Josh brought to the services. I was still very young in my worship leading journey and his example was a great witness to me.
We bought his cds, and they were on repeat on my iPod Nano for years, until I ran over the thing with my car (oops). Ten years later, I heard a familiar voice on the radio, and it was Josh Wilson! I may have fangirled a little, hearing someone I knew from a long time ago make it big!
The other day, I heard another song on K-LOVE, and guess who it was? No one other than Josh Wilson! The song presented an interesting message, with the chorus suggesting we need to “dream small”. That probably makes most people double-take. Why not just set huge goals all the time, and strive for the ultimate prize?
Josh’s song focuses on the little things. He reaches out to those with lives that don’t always give rewards – moms, dads, ministers, teachers, volunteers – the people who may not see results from their hard work for years, if ever. He tells us it is ok to stay where we are, that we don’t have to be famous or earning millions to change the world.
When you devote your time to doing something small, it can be discouraging and frustrating at times. There is no instant gratification, there are often tears at the glacial pace things seem to be moving. I work with a group of students at church, and sometimes it feels like my time isn’t impactful at all. I often feel as if the passion I am bringing to them about worshipping God is ignored and not understood. These thoughts are the enemy trying to shut down a good thing.
God work isn’t always as obvious and shiny as stories from the Bible. We may not turn out to be a Beth Moore or Jen Hatmaker, traveling the world, preaching the gospel to thousands at a time. We may not become a Christine Caine, opening an organization that literally saves the lives of slaves and oppressed people. We may be only sharing God’s love with one person at a time, and those people may take years to reach.
The thing is, the time spent reaching just one person can be just as impactful to the world as the time spent preaching to thousands. It all depends on the message you are giving, and the heart you have sharing that message. And, that one person can be changed and inspired to change one person, and on and on it can go until we flood the world with God’s love and grace.
We can “add up the small things and watch them grow bigger, the God who does all things makes oceans from rivers.”
So yes, keep on dreaming small, and realize that your work loving on your kids can change the world. Dream small and pray that the fruits of your labor working with the homeless will go on to change the hearts of many. Dream small, and know that someone is watching you clean those bathrooms and floors diligently, and that your work ethic may be a wordless testimony to someone. Dream small, and realize that God will use you right where you are, if you let Him.
In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your Heavenly Father. – Matthew 4:16