Today I enjoyed the company of friends. It was a business meeting, but this gathering of professionals was much more than business. We are friends, our own family of sorts. A room full of relationships grown largely through the skillful leadership of one with great influence, who imparted to us the value of a work “family”. We’ve pulled together to accomplish great things, challenged each other in friendly competition, traveled together often in celebration, and picked each other up when we’ve fallen – or sometimes when we’ve just sat down in despair! And sometimes we’ve cried.
As life would have it, we’ve also felt the sting of loss. Some we lost into eternity, others moved on to a different profession, and some life simply took in a new direction. It’s always hard to lose a family member, and it’s hard when others move away. The bonds of love and friendship are still there, but adjustments must be made to move forward. As some leave this “nest”, others arrive with great anticipation and new relationships bud and bloom.
It’s a hard decision to leave the inner circle of this family, to take a different course. To realize that to follow the dream in your heart will carry you away from all that is comfortable. To understand that those you love so dearly may lose sight of you as they are dream-chasers themselves. It is a painful process soothed only by the certainty of direction, the voice of the dream that is greater than the sorrow of leaving.
Jesus developed a family of close friends when He was on earth. In the many days, weeks, and months they were together they grew to love each other intensely. Together they worked, talked, laughed, and cried. When it was time for Jesus to leave, He told them what to expect – He let them know He was leaving them and it would be through death. The heartache they must have felt! Their dreams of the future were shattered in that moment and here’s what Jesus said:
“Let not your hearts be troubled.” John 14:1
NOT BE TROUBLED??? How could He say that to them? How do you just turn off the agony of loss? The fear of the future?
Jesus had a choice. He was completely human and felt the temptation to NOT follow His purpose. He knew the suffering ahead of Him, but more than that He was committed to the purpose. He knew that in the end it would be worth it all. And not just for Himself, but for His disciples, for everyone. He even told them that it was “profitable” for them that He leave (John 16:7). Their lives had been this amazing adventure of one miracle after another – how could it be better for them if He left?
He had to make way for the Holy Spirit. It was better for them – for us – to have His Spirit to indwell us than for His Spirit to inhabit only one man. The disciples grew to understand this and did discover that it was more profitable!! They still missed Jesus in person, they longed to touch Him again and just hang out with Him. But God had called them to something greater and the dream of their calling became greater than the sorrow. These men went on to change the world!
Today I visited my “family”. I don’t live with them anymore, I’ve moved away. How hard it was to leave! How my heart ached and struggled with the decision! But had I clung to the safety of the nest, the security of this family, I would be missing the excitement of a dream unfolding, the deep joy of living out my deepest heart’s desire.
Has God called you to something new? I don’t particularly mean professionally, but in your heart. What dreams do you hold that are drawing you, waiting to unfold? Has He asked you to leave something behind so that He can take you into a greater work, into the fulfillment of your purpose? Are you afraid to step out, to follow His call?
“Don’t let your heart be troubled. You believe in God; believe in (adhere to, trust, and rely on) Me.”
Trust Him. It will be worth it all. We can change our world!
Today’s post is dedicated to Jeff West, influential leader and fellow dream chaser. 🙂