Summary: Life without a dream or a vision is bland. But big dreams and big goals often require big budgets and lot’s of help. Sometimes it can seem we don’t have enough (especially in a small church.) What does God have to say about this?
Title: Rags to Riches / More than Enough
Walt Disney was a dreamer. Walt’s vision led him to borrow money to start a production studio that would use cartoons to tell stories. During Walt’s lifetime, the word “Disney” became almost synonymous with family entertainment. But a production studio wasn’t enough. His vision and passion for telling storie gave him the idea of developing a brand new family oriented vacation destination to entertain fans who came to visit the studio. He opened Disney Land in 1955.
Disney Land wasn’t enough. He wanted people to feel like they had been transported to an enchanted land. How could people feel swept away when garbage was being hauled in public and employees were switching shifts. So against some people’s better judgment and to the objections of some closest to him, Disney purchased land in a swamp near a small town in Florida to build a theme park there as well. This park woudl have underground tunnels to handle the mundane tasks of operating a theme park. Nothing should interfer with the enchantment.
"Too much, too fast" his advisors said. "Curtail the dream." But Walt didn’t flinch. His dream and passion become a reality. Walt Disney World opened it’s gates in 1971. Since it opened, more than 800 million people have visited the magic Kingdom. The feel is indeed enchanted. If you have children, it is probably on the bucket list of places you want to visit.
Walt Disney was a big dreamer. But there is a problem with dreamers. Their dreams often require risk; they often require big budgets and lots of help. And that is hard to swallow. Folks I’m a dreamer too. But I look around our congregation and I realize that we are not a mega church. We don’t operate with a multi million dollar budget like a big business. We don’t have thousands of members. Financially, we are not the wealthiest congregation. There are many people on fixed incomes and tight budgets. We have a good percentage of our members past retirement age. And, at times, it seems even to me as a dreamer that we do not have enough.
Not enough. I hear it often sometimes from my own lips.
Not enough time in the day.
Not enough money.
Not enough skill.
Not enough knowledge.
Not enough energy.
Not enough youthfulness.
Not enough years left to dream
Not enough passion
Do any of these “not enough” phrases ring true to you? And when the thoughts of "not enough" come around, dreams become lifeless. Before we know it, our passion is gone too. Real life begins to feel like an airline jet flying on autopilot -- Simply staying the current course and maintaining the status quo. We feel like we shouldn’t rock the boat or the boat may capsize. Not enough.
As time passes, as we get older, we can get jaded from seeing failed dreams. We get stuck in what is and what was and we don’t want to think about what could be. And our lives slowly fade into "not enough."
Is this what God intended? Are dreams for people who are younger? Are they for people who have not experienced the sting of failure? Are dreams for those who can afford to risk? Does God want us to live passionless lives in "Not enough?"
Today, I want to take a broad look at the book of Exodus, but our theme passage will be Exodus 36:1-7. (If you want to turn there or mark the place)
As you turn to that text, let me offer some context of what is taking place in this O.T. narrative.
As Exodus opens the Hebrew people are put into slavery. For 400 years they endure the ideas of "not enough." So God raises up Moses, and through him, God rescues the nation of Israel from the bondage of slavery in Egypt. Through the leadership of Moses, the Hebrew people have left Egypt, fled through the Red Sea, and are now camped at the base of Mt. Sinai. In chapter Exodus 19, Moses is commanded up on the mountain as God instructed and receives the Ten Commandments and the Jewish law. For 5 chapters (19-24) God lists the laws that will govern his people as they head for the promised land.
In Exodus 25, God gives Moses these directions.
Exodus 25:1-9 (NIV)
1 The LORD said to Moses, 2 "Tell the Israelites to bring me an offering. You are to receive the offering for me from each man whose heart prompts him to give. 3 These are the offerings you are to receive from them: gold, silver and bronze; 4 blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen; goat hair; 5 ram skins dyed red and hides of sea cows; acacia wood; 6 olive oil for the light; spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense; 7 and onyx stones and other gems to be mounted on the ephod and breastpiece. 8 "Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. 9 Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you.