You see, I had dreamed about birds—my favorite creatures. In the dream, I saw a bunch of beautiful, little parakeets. But something was wrong with these parakeets: they were starving. I had let them starve, forcing them to go weeks or months without food or water.
Yet, miraculously, all the parakeets were still alive. Near death, yes; but still breathing. I gently picked up each bird I saw and fed it … and as I did, each one revived and regained its strength to fly.
When I awoke, motivation and courage gripped me.
Somehow, I felt I had received a message of hope. I felt like our merciful Father was telling me that the dreams I had neglected—those ideas and plans which could have given me wings, but which I had let starve nearly to death—could come back alive if I would feed them.
You see, for years I have been a terrible finisher.
I’m great at starting things. Great at motivating people and casting the vision … but not always so great at finishing. Sometimes I’ve let things fall through the cracks at home, in business, and even in ministry.
Oh, there have been successes; and I’ve been able to keep the mundane, necessary balls (like laundry and job and occasionally cooking for my husband) circling in the air. But those special dreams that take extra time but could have given me wings? Not so much.
Like that time when the editor of a nationally-known magazine handed me her business card across the dinner table, and asked me to submit an article to her that I had just proposed. I wrote the article, and I still have her business card in my wallet … but I never sent it in.
Then there’s that book proposal that’s been almost done for, well, years. The piano album I recorded, but for which I never actually had CDs made. And the gorgeous, professionally-designed Bible study workbook I wrote but never had printed.
Yeah. Those dreams.
So many plans neglected and left to starve. So many ideas that could have given me wings. I got the message of the dream loud and clear, and I began to write.
I made a list of all the “parakeets” I could think of that were starving. All the things I knew I needed to work on in order to see my goals actually happen. The list was long, but it filled me with hope.
Because, you see, in the dream, another encouraging message came through:
I fed those parakeets one at a time. They revived one at a time. It wasn’t overwhelming. Life just came as I paid attention to each one.
And I realized that working on just one task each day, even for a few moments, would help. Even if I only have 15 minutes to spare, I can get each dream a little closer to completion in 15 minutes. I don’t have to be overwhelmed by the size of the task, the potential of the dream, or the amount of work it will take me to finish.
All I have to do is feed my dreams one tiny step at a time.
And all you have to do is feed your dreams one tiny step at a time too.
What beautiful plans have you made regarding things you’re called to do? What projects have you started, but not finished?
And are any of your hopes for the future dying long, slow deaths without food or water, like mine were?
You may feel like your dreams are dead, or that it’s too late, but it’s not too late. There is hope if you will move forward intentionally.
It’s okay if your steps are small. If all you can do today is make a list, that’s all right! Go ahead and make that list. Then just keep doing one little thing each day. Even the teensiest steps will add up over time. In a week, a month, or a year, you’ll be able to look back at where you were this day and see progress that will have made a difference in your life.
Since I had that dream about the parakeets, I’ve been taking tiny steps each day toward reviving my dreams. Sometimes the steps are incredibly tiny. Yet, other times I really get into the flow of my work, and I end up getting wonderful things done in an hour or two.
No matter how big or how small, the tiny steps I’m taking each day are making a difference. I’m seeing progress. The dreams I thought were long dead are coming back to life.
And you can bring your dreams back to life too.
If the dream is still in your heart, it’s not too late. It’s never too late. Your efforts matter.
One tiny step at a time …
One 15-minute increment at a time …
One littlest goal each day …
And you can make more progress more quickly than you ever imagined.
What will you do today to give wings to your dreams?