I remember the moment he said it. I was sitting at a chair/desk with about 19 other guys in a sterile white classroom at a local college’s basketball camp. I was a nervous junior higher, who intently scribbled down notes, quotes, and goals while the college’s head coach spoke about the value of hard work and the importance of goal setting. My young mind sponged up every drop of wisdom that he spilled into the air. He started talking about the reality of how none of us would make it into the NBA. Then he said it… convincingly… “Shoot for the stars. If you miss, you’ll at least hit the clouds.”
I remember he implied that we would all miss, and right then and there I made an agreement. “I’ll probably miss, but that’s okay… I’ll at least hit the clouds.” It sounded good to my young ears. It sounded wise. Aim really high, and if you miss, you’ll at least be mediocre.
Last night, I had a beautiful meal with my parents. As we sat around after dinner discussing my dreams and goals for music, I verbalized to them that none of my dreams have ever been completely fulfilled. I explained that in high school I had the goal of playing Division I basketball for the University of Michigan. I ended up playing for Spring Arbor University, which is good, but not exactly D I ball. In my dating relationships, I’ve always held high ideals for how I would conduct myself as a gentleman. I’ve treated every girl great compared to how most guys treat them, but the bar slowly and inevitably sunk until the standards I set at the beginning of each relationship were purposefully forgotten and ignored out of embarassment and regret.
In music, academics, or friendships, I’ve always set really idealistic goals and come up short. I’ve shot for another galaxy, but I’ve never gotten past the stratosphere.
This morning as I prayed and reflected on last night’s after dinner conversation with my folks, God traced the root of my problem back to that basketball camp. Way back in that little classroom, I made a dark agreement with what sounded like wisdom. It may seem extreme, but that little “stars & clouds” quote, opened a foothold for the Satan to lie to me with statements like, “Your dreams and desires will never be fully realized. Your hopes will never be completely fulfilled. Your heart will never be perfectly whole.”
In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I publicly renounce that agreement. I break my agreement with that little white lie of human wisdom. I will be whole. My desires will be realized. “I will shoot for the stars, and I will reach them.” Up until the point when I just typed that out, I must admit that I couldn’t envision my desires being fulfilled. I had trouble even seeing the girl I want to marry walking down the aisle toward because of a deep and hidden fear that things never work out like that beautifully. My imagination hadn’t caught up to what the Lord has put in my heart.
As I typed “I publicly renounce” a moment ago, tears slowly peaked out from behind my eyelids, and a flood of sun-spotted, picture perfect moments rushed over my mind. My wedding. JoAnna walking down the aisle in white smiling and looking at me with a look of trust and happy contentment. My future children climbing on my back with their mother admiringly gazing at the kind of father I am becoming. My band and I playing on stages, at festivals, in small stadiums with the individuals in the audience being moved to tears at the beauty of the music and the meaning of the lyrics. Both sets of parents debt free, and Mama Bear grinning ear to ear because of what God has done. Faith is substance of things hoped for. The evidence of things not seen.
My relationship with God and with others will no longer be limited by the “reach for the stars, and maybe you’ll hit the clouds” mentality. I choose to imagine and reach the best in life. “God has not given me a spirit of fear, but He’s given me a spirit of love, power, and a sound mind and self control.”
A lot of people have told my girlfriend Jo and I that we’re gonna fight someday. They’ve said that eventually when the pressures of life wear on us, we’re going to break down and have a big blowout. But I will no longer make agreements with human wisdom. I choose the spirit of love, power, and a sound mind.
I choose to dream big and renounce the darkness of those little white lies that masquerade as common sense and human wisdom. I’m reaching for the stars. It’s not a matter of “if” I hit them. It’s a matter of “when.”
Take some time today and ask God to bring out those little agreements you’ve made that act as a glass ceiling and that separate you from God’s best for your life.
I have a huge goal. Click on the video below to watch my story and share in the joy of a God-sized dream.