“Once upon a time there was a funny dog named Crispin’s Crispian. He was named Crispin’s Crispian because – he belonged to himself.”
This is the beginning of one of our favorite children’s stories, Mister Dog: The Dog Who Belonged to Himself.
My husband discovered this book at the grocery store when my oldest was just a toddler. My kids loves this book. Love it. Ideally, they would like for me to read it 15 times a day.
In the book, Crispin’s Crispian meets a little boy in his travels. They cook dinner together and the boy moves into Crispian’s little house.
The final pages of the book describe them cleaning up after dinner and heading to bed. “He [Mr. Dog] curled up in a warm little heap and went to sleep. And he dreamed his own dreams.”
I couldn’t help but think of Mr. Dog as I watched Bob Hamp’s “A Kingdom Parable” teaching this week. He tells the story of how a young man discovers who God created him to be (he’s an acrobat). At the end of the parable, Bob describes how people react to seeing this young man’s acrobatic feat.
He describes the audience as people whose hearts have gone to sleep, and are coming alive as they witness someone who is stepping into exactly who they were made to be. The people go home, and tie ropes to trees. They pick up those music lessons that have been forgotten for too long. Others simply go back to what they used to do when their dreams were still alive.
Has this ever happened to you?
Sometimes, I go to a show, I hear good music, and it inspires me to write. I’ve written some of my most honest and powerful songs this way. Other times, I hear an inspirational speaker talk about something that exhilarates me, and I go home and write a blog post.
I walked away from this Bob Hamp teaching and felt God put a question on my heart.
Are your dreams asleep? Is your heart asleep?
In the acrobat parable, the young man’s father says to him something that struck me as a profound truth. There are some things hidden in your heart that you will never discover if you don’t push yourself enough to find it.
I’ve written elsewhere on how to keep your dreams alive. I’ve also written about how God refines us and gives us the desires of our hearts. Those posts might be helpful resources.
Part of learning to walk in freedom, part of learning to become the person God created you to be is fanning those dreams that He has given you. It’s infusing hope into them when there is no visible reason to hope.
“He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.” Ephesians 1:7-8 (NLT)
Ask yourself today: are my dreams asleep? What dreams are hidden in my heart, things I’ve seen glimpses of, but have been afraid to dig deeper and discover their fullness? Have I, or the enemy, squelched and buried the dreams and hopes God had conceived in us? Is it because they seem too big, too wild, too unrealistic?
“Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” Ephesians 3:20 (NLT)
Do I believe that God is able? Do I believe that God is not only able, but willing? Not just willing, but that He has a deep desire to bless me and love on me and see my dreams come true?
Unlike Mr. Dog, we do not belong to ourselves. We belong to God. And we find out who we are by staring into His eyes and seeing ourselves reflected in Him. We discern who He created us to be by diving into His heart and resting in Him. We discover the power to keep our dreams alive in His presence.
Wake up your dreams today. Get out your journal and remind yourself of what they are. Position yourself in a warm little heap in God’s lap and allow Him to redeposit those dreams into your heart (I envision this involving hot cocoa with marshmallows for some reason).
“Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart’s desires.” Psalm 37:4 (NLT)
Two resources that might be helpful in assisting you in this exercise: The Kiss of Heaven by Darlene Zschech and Holy Discontent by Bill Hybels.
Dream your own dreams, the ones God has given you. You are dear to God, and your dreams are His gift to you. Nurture those dreams as you would care for delicate gift from a dear loved one.