From Dream to Reality
Have you ever seen a track athlete close their eyes before a race or before they jump? They are visualizing success and what it will take to receive the reward of winning the race or jumping far or high. An athlete goes into strict training to be rewarded with a win.
This poem was written after remembering a story from my high school baseball coach who gave a speech to the team the day before a game. It’s a story about a golfer that was sick and then turning his dreams into reality.
Seeing and Believing
Not feeling well
Bed ridden for a week,
A golfer was sick,
Barley able to speak.
So in his bed
He dreamed of playing,
Hitting the perfect shot
As he was laying.
For several weeks
He played in his mind
So he would stay on top
And not get behind.
Day after day he played
Round after round
Getting better each time
So perfection was found.
After several weeks
He got much better
Went to the golf course
Shot his best round ever.
Poem by Mark Shields – © 09-06-2018
So keep your eye on the prize my friend. Be thankful for opportunities to take vacations to faraway places and see beautiful scenery. Life is short so set sail on your destination and go places you never thought you could go. Dream big and work toward your dreams with determination. Then as you accomplish what you set out to do, take the opportunity to celebrate.
The photo below was taken while traveling in Europe with a high school friend. We had both graduated from college in 1983 and had some time available before we started our work careers.
With technology today, you can be thankful for the chance to go somewhere simply by clicking your computer mouse and seeing pictures on the Internet of the wonders of outer space or the serenity of the deep oceans. When rewards do come your way, praise God. If your hope is in His unfailing love and you acknowledge Him as the creator of these things of wonder and inspiration, God in turn receives a gift from your praise of Him.
Future rewards will influence your present because they give you a purpose. Believe God will give you what you need and keep working to paint a picture of success. The word of God is rewarding to your soul. The beginning of wisdom is respecting God and you will be rewarded with nuggets of gold found in each sermon or lesson. God provides the resources you need if you plant and cultivating the principles taught by Christ.
My pastor for many years, Steve Ramsdell once said in a sermon to put a high value in your victories. Keep mementos of past successes. Hold your victories dear and use them as stepping-stones to your future battles. Anyone that reads, hears, and applies God’s Word to their daily life will benefit. Discover the love of God and reveal this love to others so that they may receive the reward God wants for them.
Christ in your heart is a promised treasure that will take care of you in your time of need. Nothing is more valuable and can meet your needs more than the treasure of Christ in your heart. There is no computer system, no communication system, no product made by man worth more. So see a future harvest of benefits and eternal rewards by better using God’s precious time.
Take charge of your life and you will control your destiny. The first step in taking charge is to get filled up with wisdom and your soul will be filled with a rare and beautiful treasure that will continue to grow in value. What is more rewarding? Is it nice houses, cars, and cloths, or is it waking up early, studying the Word, praying, and looking for God at work throughout your day.
Repetition builds self-discipline. An athlete may run or lift weights to build stamina and strength. A sports team will practice so that they are disciplined to play at their best. A student studies so they understand the material and can do well on test. One tool to self-discipline is looking at your daily routine.
A good idea is to get in the habit of having a daily Bible reading and prayer time. Repeated day in and day out, this positive habit can result in long-term, far-reaching benefits for your future. The sense of accomplishment, the feeling of self-esteem, and the knowledge of who is in control of your life are benefits far more valuable than any item that could be purchased with money.
Step ahead by taking responsibility to how you respond to external circumstances. Refuse to let the actions of others affect your attitude and choose to take charge of your time and your life. Accepting personal responsibility not only provides benefits for the present but is also an investment that produces compound dividends for the future.
Start something even if it’s only one little thing and then once you get started, you probably will want to go even further. Taking charge may sound easy but it’s the doing part that gets complicated. Just remember that success is the sum of small efforts that are repeated day in and day out.
Benjamin Franklin came up with a set of 13 virtues, which he practiced methodically, He wrote each of the virtues in a book and practiced one of the virtues for a week trying to perfect it. After 13 weeks, he would start all over again by going back to the first virtue and beginning the process again trying to improve throughout life.
Find out what your thing is; your strengths. Think about the postage stamp: its usefulness consists in the ability to stick to one thing till it gets to its destination. Determine your mission and find out if you’re willing to pay the price. You have unique talents and abilities that no one else has with potential for a great future but your future will be even greater if you acknowledge the benefits of making better use of your time.
Anything big or worthwhile usually takes some effort, patience, and time. Build your life with orderliness and patience similar to how the tabernacle was constructed in Exodus 39 and 40. Memorize scripture, collect thoughts, quotes, ideas, pictures, and listen to inspiring music. Then share with others.
Remember what was stated before, being self-disciplined in the ways God wants you to live is the foundation to His blessings. Like an athlete that works out or a student that studies, success is a result of practice and hard work.
Share the Fruits of Success
Success in business or professional life is meaningless if there is no one available to share the fruits of that success. When you help others, always remember that you are building up treasures in heaven. Hard work for worldly possessions will someday erode away but treasures in heaven are permanent. Ask what you can do for others. Open your arms to the poor and extend your hands to the needy.
Give of yourself in conversation, in creative ideas, in family relationships, and in community service. The dividends are not dollars and cents but in loyalty, friendships, love of family, and respect of community. Imagine if all strived to give like the widow in Luke 21:1-4 who lived a balanced life with wisdom and invested eternally!
Find a cause larger than yourself to devote your time. As you look back someday, it may end up being the most rewarding experience of your life. Is there something you can give to help or bless someone else? It may be a kind word, it may be a skill, maybe books, toys or clothing. It doesn’t always need to be monetary gifts. It can be your gift of time. Find what it is that you can do to help others and take every opportunity to make it happen.
If you are a parent, you work vigorously to make sure the family has food on the table. You give faithful instruction and watch over the affairs of the household. When you wash your child’s cloths, your child not only looks clean but your work is rewarding. If you have a family pet, you feed them, spend time with them, and they feel loved.
When you say a kind word to someone, it inspires that individual. Again, you have earned a reward for your kindness. When you discipline a child in a way that it teaches and shows true concern for that child’s future, you have earned a reward for giving discipline. At the end of the day, sit down in prayer with God and go over these rewards you have received and thank God for giving you the chance to earn them. The true rewards are not nice cars, houses, or cloths but how God is at work through you.
God gives His priceless beauty for us to notice and share with others. Sometimes just take a walk and maybe on a cool, cloudy day, you may see the day give way to the sun as it sets over a lake and into the western horizon. The sunset might gleam off the leaves of the trees. Then you will know that God has given you a priceless picture to inspire you for a lifetime.
God has given us food, water, and light; things of nature like sunsets, mountains, and beaches. He’s created people with ideas for inventions so that what He has created is managed productively. As you go through life, think of good ideas. Write down good thoughts that inspire. Think of ways to communicate them to others so they are encouraged and inspired. Generously feed souls and ask God to open doors so your treasure accrues in the hearts of many and fulfills a purpose beyond what could be imagined.
When a farmer sows seeds, planting is done generously with hope that the return is a generous crop. When the Good News is shared with others, you give to others what you have learned and the returns are valuable friendships and flourishing communities. But that’s not all because the returns also include treasures for eternity.
You are building relationships that provide present and future payoffs. God created you because of relational reasons. He wants a companion. He loves you and wants to watch you grow. Understand though that God does not need you to work for Him. He is not a taskmaster so don’t feel you’re forced to perform tasks but accomplish great things because you desire to glorify the Lord.
You are God’s child; adopted as His child and led by the Holy Spirit. You are an heir of God and co-heir with Christ. You may go through some difficulty but you will also share in His glory. So, call out for insight and understanding as you read the Bible and learn from experiences. The word of God will be rewarding to your soul.
Have you noticed how a pet gets so excited before being fed? As a believer, have that same enthusiasm about your spiritual food; rising early and looking forward to your daily reward. Look for and store up God’s Word like silver or hidden treasure. If you take action on finding the knowledge of God daily, you will be rewarded with understanding, protection, safety, and victory.
As you grow in God’s Word, share with others your knowledge. The old saying “it is better to teach a person to fish than to give him food to eat” is spot-on because when a person has the tools to make it on their own, they are in control of their own destiny.
It’s rewarding if you feel you are being the best person God made you to be and doing the right things. God is Father of us all and the best father imaginable. He shows His love by giving us His son. Return that love by praising Him, accepting His Spirit, and receiving eternal life.
So gain this power given by the Holy Spirit; for a heart at peace gives life to your body, and being kind to the needy honors God and finds favor from Him. The work you do on earth has a time limit so try your best to budget your time and money. For the work you do is recorded for eternity.
Visualize what eternity is like by reading Revelation 21 and getting a detailed picture of heaven. In Revelation 21:1-8, John visualizes a new heaven and earth where there are no more hard times. No more pain, death or mourning. No more sadness, hunger, or thirst.
There is a reward for those ready to be optimistic and enthusiastic about the future where you have access to all that anyone could ever want. You have a bright future so the hope in you should flow from within and sparkle like jewels in a crown because nothing can take away your future reward.
Being able to create in your mind where you would like to go or what you would like to do can turn a dream into active plans that will help make it come true. The beginning to planning and taking action starts with sharp and clear pictures of each step, each obstacle, each solution, and each character trait needed.
In a way, creating in your mind a picture of what you aspire to do moves the future into the present. A person is not surprised when it comes true because they’ve already seen and experienced it in their dreams. The poem and photo below is a sunset view in Honolulu during my honeymoon. Dream big and picture in your mind how to make it happen. As crystalized in the poem below, your desire will transpire.
Your Desire Can Transpire
Create in your mind
Where you would like to go
What you would like to do
And this dream will grow.
From clear pictures you view
Planning out actions
For this dream to come true.
Mindful of each step,
Each stumbling block,
Each door to knock.
Sketched in your mind,
Firmed up like cement,
As your future turns
Into the present.
A natural result
When the dream does transpire
Because it has been
Your ultimate desire.
Poem by Mark Shields – © 08-30-2018
Dream big because there are great benefits. Dreams provide you with enthusiasm for life. They help you look forward to each day even if faced with a long list of tasks to accomplish. You will be able to see the reward and your dreams will be the antidote to any feeling of frustration or depression.
Dream big because over the weeks during this study of “God’s Perfect Timing” you have obtained better control over your time. You now have the ability to handle crisis situations or to avoid time conflicts because you are organized with priorities. You have improved decision-making qualities, more time for planning, and time available to accomplish what truly matters in your life.
You now have more time because of your ability to control interruptions. You know what to do next because you have established priorities. You have the confidence to say “no” to low priority activities. You now have more time for family, for recreation, and enjoyment of life.
Recognizing progress toward achievement gives inspiration for attempting even greater accomplishment. It also helps you determine adjustments that may need to be made to enhance your opportunity to fulfill a vision for the future. Respond thoughtfully to the questions in the document Accomplishments in Studying God’s Perfect Timing at this link. The aim is to determine what progress you have made so far in the study of God’s Perfect Timing. Then use this information to dream even bigger.