“Listen to my voice in the morning, LORD. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.”
Psalm 5:3 NLT
Well-intentioned aspirations have a habit of failing to materialise. It’s not that there isn’t the enthusiasm, but inertia proves a mighty boulder to move. I’ve lost count of the aspirations I’ve conceived that never got beyond the edge of the sofa. So how can we realise the dreams that God awakens within our hearts?
The first question is the reality test. How many singers have we seen on TV talent shows who audition full of ambition, only to have their dreams crushed when advised by the experts on the panel that they simply cannot sing? My first enquiry of myself is about the realistic nature of my dream.
Then it’s the need to turn that aspiration into action. This requires some hard work. It can only ever happen once we set a time when we shall begin. It doesn’t matter when that time is, but it matters that there is a start and an end time. For me, mornings are good, so my intention to practise a rhythm of prayer started with determining when I would get up three days a week to take 15 minutes in prayer. This prayer was a written morning prayer which I chanted, since chanting helped keep my attention on what was in the prayer. I wasn’t worried about feel-good moments or measuring productivity or outcomes. I just got up and prayed my daily office.
Someone once wisely wrote that it’s important to give our goals a time and a place to live in the world. Until we do that, they have no context and cannot take shape. Slowly this routine took shape. I reflected upon the distractions that besieged me, the patterns of avoidance I seemed to build en route to my morning prayer. Yet, I developed a consistency and celebrated that above any measurable outcome I might expect from faithful prayer. I was acting out of obedience to what God had placed in my heart and to the schedule I had set to give my goals a time and place in the world.
How can you discover how committed you are to your dream?
Lord, save me from good intentions and help me to practise what I preach.