I often have ideas. Whether it’s at home or at the ministry house, I have big plans. Bigger than I can pull off. And I don’t mean God-big, I mean stupid-big. Big like remodeling to have full size walk in closets (spatially impossible in my house). Someday opening a bakery. Putting a fireman’s pole from my attic to my living room. Having a first-floor laundry room. And when I get an idea, I tend to chase after them vigorously (well, not the fireman’s pole, but you get the picture). Just like other Martha-types, I want to do more, serve more, plan and work and do what needs done to make things happen. And so very often these ideas of mine go over like a lead balloon to those I tell. Especially the men in my life start shaking their heads when I get ideas, because I often get in over my head and have to rely on them to bail me out. I have so many bad ideas that for a while I toyed with the idea of having a running column of bad ideas in our newsletter – like a comic strip of the ridiculous things we’ve considered. But that idea, well,

For instance, let’s take the I time I decided I wanted the pews that the Salvation Army was taking out of their worship center. Turns out I couldn’t just take one. So I took all 20. So Jason had to borrow a trailer. But then they weren’t as sturdy as we wanted, and they had gum stuck to the bottom, and they were too long for the dining room and the saws that my dad and Jason have wouldn’t cut through them correctly, and the screws were all stripped, and the ends were busted, and so on. I insisted on assembling two of them, which ended up terribly uncomfortable and not appropriate for the space I put them in. That idea is still a lead balloon, partially because two are still in my foyer not fully assembled and because almost all of them are in my parents’ living room in a stack.

But then again, I’ve seen people and ministries do ridiculously huge things, reach people they shouldn’t reach, change lives that shouldn’t change, and fund projects that shouldn’t be fund-able. Love the unlovable, believe the unbelievable, attain the unattainable – that’s what happens when Jesus is author of the plan.

So the challenge is to decide which plans are stupid-big and which ones are God-big. Which dreams  will go over like a lead balloon and which are the God-given dreams that — if I’ll just have a half-a-mustard-seed worth of faith — would flourish into more than I can imagine? How do we know the difference? How do we Marthas of the world, who want to do more and more, know the difference between the things that we should dive into head first and those things that will drown us in worry?

I have no idea.

O Lord show us your way, your dreams, your plans that we may run after them fearlessly.

Lead Balloon
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