Unlock Your Creativity
Like you, I’ve had many hopes and dreams over the years, some frivolous and insignificant, others meaningful and substantive. I recall my first baseball glove - a Pete Rose signature edition, by the way! - which actually had supernatural powers of baseball artistry. I knew it could make me a better baseball player. Instantly, I was the most excited and envied kid on the block. And, of course, the glove worked. I was most definitely the best baseball player on my street.
My dreams changed over the years as they evolved to jobs, money, a family, a home - the usual list of American dreams. “With your good looks and intelligence, my mother assured me, “It will hardly be a challenge.” (I know what you’re thinking, but unlike most moms, mine was totally objective) I went to college to begin my journey toward greatness and was on my way to success, fame, and fortune…that is, until God arranged for me to go on a missionary journey to Guatemala.
It was a trick!
I was there when the earthquake in 1976 occurred, killing 30,000 people in thirty seconds. One million people were left homeless. How do you look into hopeless, grieving eyes and dream of fame and fortune? How do you face a hungry, now fatherless three-year-old and her widowed mother - having to turn them away because you just served the last available bowl of soup in the relief effort - and dream of ease and comfort? My dream of owning the world transformed into changing it. I’ve been working on it ever since.
God wants you to be an agent of change, also. Things are supposed to be different on planet earth because you showed up. You’re part of the plan. A solution, an invention, a prayer, another person yet unborn - there is something in you we need. It all begins with a dream.
In his book A Savior for All Seasons, William Barker speaks of dreaming. He tells of a disagreement between a traveling bishop and the president of a religious college who also taught physics and chemistry. The itinerant minister persistently contended that we must be near the return of Christ and the beginning of His millennial reign. Why? “Because just about everything concerning nature has been discovered and all inventions created.”
The college president disagreed and insisted there would be more discoveries. “Name one,” challenged the preacher.”
“Well, I’m certain that within fifty years, humans will be able to fly,” replied the president.
“Nonsense!” shouted the skeptical minister. “Men will never fly because flying is reserved for angels.”(1)
The preacher’s name? Wright. He had two sons at home, dreamers Orville and Wilbur - you know them as the Wright Brothers - who proved to have a bit more vision than Dad! They were the first people to fly.
Dreaming ignites creativity. The impossible is powerless against the relentless energy and creative imagination flowing from a dreaming heart. Dreams are pregnant with hope, persistence, ingenuity, and inventiveness - if you dream, you WILL create. Contrarily, if you do not have dreams to pursue, you’ll languish and stagnate in a sterile, uninspired, unimaginative, and uninventive world - exactly the way most people live!
Their world is small and confined, restrained by the mundane existence of a nondreamer. For them, the fulfillment of destiny is not accomplished by dreaming, planning, and creativity, but is based on chance. God’s plan for us, however, is not to spin in circles on the roulette wheel of life, hoping we bounce off at the right place and land on success. Our Maker wants us to dream, plan, and create.
Many people are simply waiting for “the big break” or longing to be “discovered”; they trust chance, wandering through life hoping for the right lottery number to appear. Those are fantasies, not dreams. God doesn’t want you to live in a fantasy world, waiting for a magical spider bite to launch you on your Spider-Man journey. Being dreamers doesn’t mean we live in a make-believe world.
The Bible says much about dreaming, and it is enlightening that the concepts of dreaming and creating are both found in the same biblical word. Think about that. Yatser (Hebrew) means “to create”; yetser, a slightly different form of the word means “imagination, conception, and thought.”(2) Yetser refers to the plans and purposes formed in the mind, which, of course, is what it means to dream; Yatsar is the resulting actions of creating them. So, the power to create begins with the ability to dream.
This is exactly how God functions. Isaiah 46:10 states that He declares the end from the beginning. In other words, He sees or imagines the end result (yetser), forms the plan or design, then backs up and begins creating it (yatsar). He dreams, then He creates. Likewise, when God fashioned humans in His image, He placed within us a portion of His ability to imagine, dream, and create. We have a God-given ability to conceive something in our mind or heart, which then awakens the creativity and innovation He placed in each of us. Like Him, we dream, and then we create the dream. Consider these cases in point.
We have airplanes because a couple of brothers dreamed we could conquer gravity and fly. Eventually, we went to the moon because someone dared dream we could conquer space.
We have lightbulbs because a man dreamed of light without a fire. People continued to dream, and now we have lasers.
Telephones were invented because a dreaming mind conceived the outlandish concept of talking through wires. But dreaming begets dreaming, so someone imagined telephones without wires, and cell phones were born. Crazy!
Cars exist because someone dared to dream of a “horseless carriage.” Henry Ford dreamed of mass-producing these man-made beasts. Another dreamer dreamed of making money by paving roads for those amazing new machines, and, eventually, someone dared to dream of a network of roads all across America without one single stoplight or stop sign.
Some nerd dreamed of the computer. Someone “nerdier” dreamed they could be portable - not bad since initially one computer filled up an entire room. Then came the Internet…the World Wide Web…Facebook…Twitter… Google. And the multi-zillionaire nerds are still laughing. And tweeting. (Someone even had to dream up new words for all these crazy ideas.)
Someone dreamed up television, and - it was inevitable - some guy dreamed of changing the channel without getting out of the recliner. Yep, along came the remote.
All of these once unbelievable concepts began with a dream. Dreaming, then, unlocked creativity. And by the way, dreams don’t have to be big to be substantial in their impact. Consider these “insignificant” dreams:
Someone got tired of their papers being displaced and dreamed of a paper clip (They also made sure they were small enough to lose easily so we would have to buy trillions of them.)
Annoyance over trapped food inspired the toothpick dream.
A would-be writer grew tired of scribbling in the dirt and dreamed of a pencil.
A guy with sore feet from going barefoot dreamed of sandals. A woman dreamed of making them stylish. Some teenager dreamed of making them comfortable and voilà - flip-flops were born!
But they don’t “just happen.” They’re accomplished because dreaming unlocks creativity, innovation, action, and originality. If you don’t dream, you won’t create. Period. End of story. But if you do dream, you will create, you MUST create. Necessity isn’t the mother of inventions, dreams are!
Pray with me:
Father, we want to dream Your dreams for our lives, our families, nations and the entire world. The dream in You was so powerful that it cost You the incarnation and the Cross. We are grateful that You enable and lead us to dream human dreams regarding accomplishments and those we love, but we ask You to also elevate us to dreaming God-dreams, as well.
Today we dream with You for worldwide harvest. We dream of those who are broken being healed. We dream of the oppressed going free, homes being healed, lives being restored, and eternal destiny‘s rescued. We in America dream of the time our destiny is restored and we are a nation that once again honors You and partners with You. We declare and decree that this is coming and will not be stopped. And we do so in Jesus’ name. Amen.
We declare that the church will release the imaginative and creative power of God into their lives and realms of influence, partnering with Him to change their world.
Today’s post was taken from my book Dream.
[Dutch Sheets Dream, Discovering God’s Purpose for Your Life (Grand Rapids: Baker Publishing Group, 2012), pp 17-21.]
Click on the link below to watch the full video.
Spiros Zodhiates, ed., Hebrew-Greek key Word Study Bible (Chattanooga: AMG, 1990), 1732.