Think Big – Dream Big
Meet Tom. Tom is an average American. He goes to work forty hours a week, has a wife and kids, and cleans the garage on Saturday afternoon. Right now he is saving up money for a boat, and he dreams of one day taking his family on a cruise in the Caribbean. That is his big dream.
How do I avoid that? It’s one of the questions that I have often wondered. How do I avoid being limited to small ideas? How do I think big, dream big, and accomplish big things in life? How do I avoid petty ambitions and small perspectives?
I still don’t have a complete answer in my mind, but I do have some thoughts. Today I want to share what I think is the most basic foundation to thinking and dreaming big.
Open your mind to vast ideas. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” I am increasingly convinced that this is true. Our society, filled with small minds, is fixated on other people – media stars, sports stars, celebrities. No wonder most people go through life with the most miniscule of visions, with a constant diet of Hollywood films and People Magazine.
On the other end of the spectrum, the greatest minds of history have discussed ideas. Aristotle and Plato are remembered for their philosophy and ideas, not their encyclopedic knowledge of contemporary celebrities. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson (and I could list all of history’s leading patriots) spent their time contemplating liberty and what it looked like practically. The apostle Paul and the reformer Martin Luther were fascinated by ideas – how life should be lived if there is a God, what that God is like, and the spiritual laws that govern the moral universe.
I don’t say this because I already have a great mind. I certainly spend time thinking about ideas, but I also spend time thinking about events. Often, I’ll try to find the connection between the mundane events in this world and the ideas that are generating those events. Regardless, I still need my mind to be enlarged.
But how can we open our minds to vast ideas? This is what the Bible does – it opens our minds to broad ideas, the greatest ideas imaginable. It challenges us to think about questions like ‘who is God?’ It asks us to ponder infinity and eternity. It stretches our minds outside the realm of the physical, to the spiritual; outside the realm of the present, to the future; beyond the bounds of the finite, to the infinite.
Admittedly, there are many Christians who do not think big. I do not say that simply reading the Bible will always make a person crush their limited viewpoints. It is, however, a first step, and a powerful first step. When we are mastered by the great ideas found in the Bible, our minds are prepared to move in a new direction, the direction of great dreams and vast thoughts.