My writing this week has been focusing on the themes of discovery and opportunity. Together they help create dreams and dreams are the stuff that shape not only our own destiny, but set the stage for the dreams and destinies of others.
The first key is to be in the right attitude and altitude to be in discovery mode. We need to be of a mindset and spiritset to be open to discovery and if we are honest, some of us aren’t. It can frighten us to discover something new in our interior or exterior world because it may require a decision on what we do with the new information. When we make a discovery, we learn something new. Will we perceive it as good or bad?
I think discovery mode is something God built into us when Creation began. When Adam was placed in the midst of the beauty and wonder of all He had created and given the opportunity to name the animals, I cannot imagine how much he had to discover as he observed each one and created a name he thought suitable.
That was the beginning of discovery and it has continued to this very moment. Think for a moment how curious a baby is about everything in his or her environment. Everything gets checked out to see how it tastes, the texture of how it feels, and what it can do.
Discovery is how the baby learns and how we keep on learning unless we slowly turn down the dimmer switch on discovery when we get comfortable with where we are and how we are. By adulthood some of us may be so programmed that we no longer spend much time in discovery mode. We may read about it or watch it happen on TV, in a movie, or the news, but we cease to participate in doing it ourselves.
Satan knew that discovery mode was a part of us and it is what he capitalized on in the garden when he tempted Adam and Eve. Maybe that experience is also what caused us to be fearful of discovery ever since.
I think God wanted us to discover the wonder and glory of Him through His creation. When we do so it leads us to worship Him. It also allows us to then find/discover opportunities and possibilities and those, my friends, are the stuff dreams are made of.
I love discovering new things and my children and grandchildren tease me often when I share random things I have found fascinating in the learning process. If you were to talk with them, they could recite more than a few examples.
This Christmas I shared about the story I had discovered about unusual sounds emanating from the Mariana Trench, the deepest known part of the world’s oceans that is located in the western Pacific Ocean. Scientists have apparently been listening to sounds they have picked up and have yet to have a sense of their source. Random fact? Yep! Even so I get excited to realize this gives someone the opportunity to discover something more about the earth God created than we yet know. It opens up the door to imagination and that can lead to dreams.
I love to hear about dreams even though I seem to recall few of my own. But there are other sorts of dreams as well that usually don’t happen while we are sleeping. These come when we discover something we are passionate about or do well and dream of what we can do with it. These lead to destiny.
Joseph was of course a famed dreamer whose nighttime dreams got him into trouble, but they also allowed him to discover something God intended to do. His discovery made opportunities for him that led to his destiny of saving Israel from certain destruction in the midst of a great famine. Looking at the story more closely reminds me that in the process Joseph also discovered a few things about himself and a great many things about God.
When my dad discovered his love of learning as he sat reading his McGuffey reader by the light of a kerosene lamp, it gave him the dream of what an education could provide. That dream was one that he didn’t have the opportunity to pursue, but it created the dream of providing just such an opportunity for me and that set in motion a legacy that has outlived him.
I loved learning and loved talking about history with my dad and his dream came true when I received my college degree in education after great sacrifice on his part to provide it. Pursuing that degree is when I met my husband and together we desired to give our two children the opportunity to discover their potential and learn new things to create dreams of their own.
Each of them discovered his and her own unique passions, gifts, and interests that opened opportunities that led them to cities hundreds of miles away from us. That was a part of my dad’s legacy and he got to see both of them launched into adulthood before the Lord called him home. They were also a part of his dream.
What my dad didn’t get to see was how that legacy got passed on to his six great grandchildren. All six-were/are homeschooled and each are discovering how their own passions, interests, and gifts are opening doors of opportunity leading to dreams of their own. Their dreams are dreams within a dream within a dream (a theme of Mark Batterson’s in Chase the Lion).
I love when they pass on their own random facts so I discover new things. For my oldest granddaughter who will graduate in May with a nursing degree, it will often be something about the intricacies of the human heart. For my oldest grandson who is in his second year of college in pre-med it might be something about a brain hack that helps a brain (maybe even mine) at a more efficient level. My middle grandson will clue me in on some new app for my phone while the youngest grandson recently shared some information about the Louisiana Purchase I did not know or had forgotten. With my middle granddaughter I will get to hear the imagination that goes into her plans to be a novelist and my youngest granddaughter will share details about birds than I ever knew existed. New discoveries are leading to new opportunities and new dreams.
Discovery + opportunity = dreams. And dreams are the stuff of destiny and our legacy.
“Legacy isn’t measured by what you accomplish during your life span. Legacy is measured by the lives that are affected by your life long after you are gone.” Mark Batterson
I forgot to mention the most significant legacy that my dad left and it was certainly his best dream and highest hope. He loved and served the Lord for all of his 84 years and he passed that on to a generation of great grandchildren.
What legacy will you leave?