I admit it. I was daydreaming during the church service on the Sunday a pastor preached a sermon on Ezekiel 37:1-4. I was thinking about dreams, the kind of dreams you and I have about what we want to accomplish in our personal and professional lives.
I was thinking about unfulfilled dreams when he read the passage which vividly describes how the Lord led Ezekiel around a valley full of very dry bones and told him how to bring life to the bones.
Ezekiel writes, “Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.’”
I wondered how someone could prophesy over dead dreams to resurrect them. I considered how we could revisit dreams that were never fulfilled, and now lay forgotten and dead like dry bones in a deserted valley. How can you and I breathe new life into our dead dream bones and begin to flesh out the future?
Keep focused on actions to resurrect your dreams.
Our dreams die in stillbirth for the same reasons they are hard to resurrect once dead. Sometimes life gets in the way. Other times it’s a negative cocktail of procrastination, anxiety and fear, wrong thinking and the wrong people, naysayers and critics, bad habits and poor planning.
Make a Commitment This Time
Once you commit to resurrecting a dream, it’s important not to procrastinate, but to keep focused on actions needed to realize your dream and not be sidetracked by accomplishing easier, more enjoyable tasks out of the lack of discipline, anxiety, or fear.
You’ll also never find a shortage of those around you who will try to dampen your enthusiasm, criticize your plans, or steal your time and energy, asking you to get involved in their problems at the expense of accomplishing your priorities. It’s important to be a good neighbor and fellow Christian. However, be wise in prayerfully setting limits.
You, the Naysayer
Sometimes we can be our own worst enemy when we embark on fulfilling a dream. Wrong ideas and misconceptions about who we are and the way life works, birthed in our childhood and as we are socialized and experience the world, can negatively affect what we believe we can accomplish.
S.M.A.R.T Goal Setting
If bad habits and poor planning hampered your efforts to fulfill a dream, determine what habitual ways of thinking or acting were involved and avoid them. As you plan to avoid negative habits, set S.M.A.R.T. goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. Use positive affirmations to reignite the excitement of accomplishing your dream.
Finally, in the process of resurrecting a dream, ask the Holy Spirit for guidance and strength as you avoid influences that may have killed your dreams in the first place, and renew efforts to fulfill the dream. It could be it was the Lord’s will that your dream was not to be. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you discern the Lord’s will.
Listen to God’s Words
Then the Lord replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it lingers, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.” (Habakkuk 2:2-3)
He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20)
Also read: Proverbs 3:5-6, Ezekiel 37:1-4, John 4:1
In the Words of Others
“Not fulfilling your dreams will be a loss to the world, because the world needs everyone’s gift---yours and mine.” Barbara Sher
“Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.” Earl Nightingale
“Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.” Langston Hughes
Think About It
Dig up an unfulfilled dream and think about it for a few quiet moments. Recall and relive the excitement and enthusiasm you once had thinking about fulfilling the dream.
As you listen to your lost dream story, recall reasons why you never fulfilled the dream. Imagine what could have happened had you fulfilled the dream.
Describe how to put flesh back on the dream with realistic S.M.A.R.T. goal setting and effective action, and with the help of the Holy Spirit.
Write three positive affirmations for the dream, breathing life into it as Ezekiel did, “prophesying” over the dry dream bones.