There is a distinction between the dream and the work required to obtain it. Everything important requires work. Hard work. And sometimes there is a long arc between the dream and it’s realization.
I recently read the above quote while catching up on some blog reading, and you would think a quote like this would have inspired me…. challenged me… motivated me to roar… but it didn’t. Ironically, I thought of the word quit.
My fitness dream is to be a lean, mean, fighting machine. The work? Pushups. Lunges. Squats. Crunches. Mountain climbers. Broccoli. Water. Vitamins. High Intensity Interval Training. And Lord help me, burpees!
My parental dream is to be a cool, calm and collected cucumber. The work? Bath time. Laundry. Education. Manners. Time outs. Night-time routine. Manners. Potty training. Extra-curricular activities. Poopie diapers. Unconditional love. Manners. Time. Energy. Patience. And manners.
My marital dream is to be superwoman, “in sickness and in health, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer.” The work? Communication. Understanding. Patience. Grace. Forgiveness. Respect. Love. Trust. Hockey. Communication. Understanding. Patience. Grace. Forgiveness. Respect. Love. Trust. Football. Communication. Understanding. Patience. Grace. Forgiveness. Respect. Love. Trust. Star Wars. James Bond. Indiana Jones. Halo. And (only) his mom’s chocolate chip cookie recipe.
My Christian dream is to be more like Jesus. The work? Oh man… let’s just say I’m a huge work in progress.
But the quote also made me pause, think, appreciate and respect a particular man’s legacy.
Today’s blog post is about a man who could have easily been profiled alongside words like visionary, leader, gifted, ambitious, dedicated, longevity, steadfast, committed, inspiring, resilient, extraordinary. He knows what it is to dream. And he knows what it means to pursue the dream. He’s done so for twenty years. TWENTY. That means, when we re-read the above quote through a Mike Love lens… clearly he knows how to define hard work. Clearly he understands this ‘distinction’ Michael Hyatt speaks of. Clearly he knows a thing or two about the ‘long arc between.’
I could have easily written this post from a variety of angles. But to be honest, the word that had my mind racing with questions was, ‘quit.’
What gave him the drive to keep going?
What inspiration poured into his soul on the days he just wanted to walk away?
What was the in-between that connected his dream with realization?
Why did I want to know these answers? Because dear people, ‘quit’ beckons me more than I care to admit.
So ladies and gentlemen, meet Mike Love – a man I deeply respect and admire; a man who has never quit.
When did the dream begin?
When I was a teenager God placed a dream on my heart for teens that I knew would result in the impact of thousands of lives. He showed me a picture of an arena full of students who were worshipping Him and wanting to walk in His purposes. YC was a youth conference/ faith journey that began in 1995 that grew from 500 to 14,000 in six years. Today, 20 years later, it has seen more than 300,000 students attend and more than 25,000 students surrender their lives to Christ.
What have you learned in the pursuit of this dream?
Faith does not come to you, you have to go to it.
I knew the dream was going to require sacrifice and much faith! You can’t just sit back and wait for it all to fall into your lap. Stepping out in obedience to what you believe God is calling you to do and then trusting Him with the results is a risk. Dreams require risk, and risk requires faith.
What has driven you to stick to the dream?
There have definitely been some challenging seasons along the way – I would be lying if I said that I never wanted to quit. But what kept me going? Many things: the adventure of pursuing God, the adventure of pursuing the dream, the testimonies, the impact – the “pats on the backs” from leaders, parents, grandparents, youth. But on a deeper level it came/comes down to two primary things that I really believe:
i. There is a calling on my life.
Being called is a lot different than being hired. You can quit your job but you can’t quit your calling. Many have tried to run from their calling, but they’re still called.
ii. There’s a generation waiting on the other side of my obedience.
Think about the missed opportunities that might occur if we don’t obey the nudge of the Holy Spirit to speak, to show kindness, to build a church, to start a mission, to write a song, to start a Youth Movement called YC, etc. I hope that when people see what we do through Extreme Dream Ministries, I hope they are inspired to chase after the dream God has for them. I hope they become faithful followers of Jesus who take the time to make every moment of every day count.
If you could offer words of wisdom, what would they be?
i. Never walk alone.
Wolves travel in packs. Who is in your pack? Surround yourself with good people who will love you enough to tell you when you are messing up and need a course correction. Get some intentional relationships that would include a correcting friend, a coaching friend, a thinking friend, a listening friend, a laughing friend, a supporting friend, and especially a friend who will seek God and pray for you faithfully.
ii. Avoidance has no power to fix things.
Face the challenges that are before you and deal with them. This is really hard for people who hate conflict but necessary if you are going to succeed.
iii. Great ministry flows out of great relationships.
Whether it be business, family, church or life – work on your relationships.
iv. Make Jesus the greatest passion of your life.
If you love God and love others, you will make a difference. And know that God is for you! It makes a huge difference in how you pray and how you live.
I have been given a platform of influence and I take it very seriously. I see that my greatest opportunity in life is to tell His story.
Mike Love is the Founder and Executive Director of Extreme Dream Ministries located in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He is a dreamer by default, a visionary, a respected leader, a gifted communicator and he travels frequently mentoring leaders in Belize, Slovakia, Ukraine, Malawi and all across North America. He speaks to as many as 30,000 people per year and he loves to inspire leaders to dream for more. You can follow Mike on twitter @mikeloveyc or learn more about his ministry by visiting mikelove.ca