500+ for 50 – day 13: if you build it, they will come
When I was kid one of my favorite movies was Field of Dreams. If you’re a sports fan of any kind, you’ve probably watched it yourself more than a handful of times. The story follows Ray Kinsella, a farmer from Iowa on a remarkable, spiritual journey as he is guided by a voice from the sky to plow under his corn and build a baseball diamond on his property. The direction offered from above is clear, “if you build it, they will come.” The intended final destination of his journey however is a bit harder to decipher. Ray follows with passion and faith a variety of cues that ultimately lead him to inspiring a game of baseball between a group of legends and lost souls from the game’s past. And in the end, he reunites with his deceased father for a game of catch. It’s a moving film meant to inspire the dreamer in all of us. It reminds us that when we’re led by faith, miracles will always remain at our fingertips.
Whether we are willing to admit it or not, there is a little bit of Ray Kinsella in all of us. Ray is representative of the innocent, childlike faith that we embody as children. Such faith challenges conventional wisdom as it encourages us to follow our hearts and the guidance that we receive from above. When we have faith like children we wholly trust that we will land at our appropriate destination so long as we simply believe and stay the course. Unfortunately, as we grow older faith led action is found to be less and less acceptable by modern society’s standards. The world forces us to become practical realists. And our dreams often diminish and fade as a result. Our lives become representative not of a divine plan, but rather of a worldly defined education. It’s no wonder that we encounter the adversities that we do in life when so very few of us are willing to let go and trust in being led by something greater than ourselves.
I believe that society puts a ton of pressure on us as individuals to fit-in. We are programmed to follow the crowd and are taught that there is an acceptable way for living our lives and getting ahead in the world. We are encouraged to reach milestones at varying times in our lives, and if by chance we miss them, we are led to believe that we are falling behind the curve. It’s all absolutely ridiculous. Who was it that defined the present standards that we are expected to live by anyway? And what on earth do those individuals know about us and how we were created? Do they have any understanding of the purpose that God has defined for our lives? Not a chance. We are all unique and if we spent more time embracing that idea and remembering what a blessing it is NOT to fit in, perhaps like Ray Kinsella we’d be more receptive to following with faith the callings that we receive from the skies above.
When we make the decision to step outside of society’s comfort zone and embrace wholeheartedly the person that we’re meant to become, we’re going to be met with fears. After all, we’ve likely spent the better part of our lives anxiously ensuring that we effectively meet the world’s standards for what it means to be attractive, smart, successful, etc. So it’s natural that our efforts to let go will be met with resistance. But it’s important that we remember one key thing. There is only one voice of reason, and that voice does not come from the world, but rather from God. And His power is limitless. Those dreams that He’s shared with you, the visions He’s offered you, they may seem ridiculous to those around you. They may appear completely unrealistic and unattainable. But nothing is beyond the reach of our Creator. God wants to inspire the child in all of us. He wants us to dream and to trust in His ability to manifest all things. When we do, miracles occur.
Many of us go through life wanting so badly to be liked that we never get to know who it is that we are. We spend so much time trying to pass the test of others that we often miss out on our own opportunities for greatness. And I believe that this is the result of deep rooted fears of loss and abandonment. There is so much pressure on us to fit in in this world that often we conceal who it is that we really are and in doing so fail to release the greatness within us that has been inspired by God. When our voice of reason calls from the sky, we turn deaf ears to the message sent because the responsibility to act accordingly feels too great for us to bear. Better to be practical and stand still than to risk being led by faith and fly, right? Wrong.
Take it from the late Nelson Mandela, “there is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” We are led to do more than simply blend in to the background of society. I am certain of that. And we need not fear being left alone when we reach for something unconventional or live openly a life that society may consider flawed. When you become the person that God has created you to be, you will attract the likes of countless others who will share your passion for growth and faith. He will surround you richly with a network of fellow believers that will inspire you along your journey and aid you throughout your personal transformation. So worry not if you need to pull a few weeds when you begin living anew. You’re just repurposing the soil for some healthy seedlings to take root.
Do not be afraid to dream. Do not be afraid to act on faith. And do not worry, Ray, “if you build it, they will come.”
May God Bless!