The Dream Giver is a great book by Bruce Wilkinson. In it we are given the parable of a Nobody named Ordinary who lives in the Town of Familiar. Ordinary finds the dream that is in him through conversations with the Dream Giver. He finds it difficult but he journeys from the land of Familiar past a region called The Comfort Zone, and eventually hits the Wall of Fear. It takes a lot of courage but with encouragement, he makes it through the Comfort Zone and past the Wall of Fear. With each step past it, he becomes less and less afraid. He sets out across Wide Waters to the place called The Unknown where he eventually realizes his dream and how it relates and connects to The Dream Giver.
The parable is one that we all can identify with. It is the story of all of us who get stuck in a rut of doing things one way for so long. It is the story of all of us who allow excuses to step between us and what we know God wants us to do. It is the story of all of us who are afraid of the unknown, and afraid of change. It is the story of all of us who are scared when we leave our comfort zone.
It is also I think a great parable for the church. We too have long lived in a place called Familiar with our ordinary and usual ways of doing things. We too, have never much bee comfortable with stepping outside the comfort zone and breaking through the wall of fear. And oddly, for a people who talk so much about the mystery and what might be, we really are not sure about travelling to paces called Unknown. And yet here we are in this day of great conversations in the church. Being church is not what it used to be. We have new challenges and new needs to address. We are being asked more and more by the Dream Giver to expand our horizons and break through any fear that we live with. The church has been given a dream. We have to work hard to realize that just like Ordinary in the parable; we are “made to be a Somebody and destined to achieve Great Things.”
St. Mark’s is a good reflection of this. In the growth we are experiencing we are travelling away from the land of Familiar and we are from time to time stepping out of The Comfort Zone. We are trying to bridge the Wide Waters to get to the place called Unknown and we are being challenged and encouraged to break through the Wall of Fear that may be keeping us from achieving that great Something that God has called us to be.
I sure am glad to be on this journey with all of the people of this parish. I love taking a journey. In the parable, the man named Ordinary takes a suitcase with a feather and ink. He uses it to journal. This is my feather and ink, and I guess this is my journal. It is a little scary – every step we take away from where we have been is less and less familiar. But each step is one closer to the Dream Giver and one step close to conquering our fear and realizing our Big Dream.
The Dream Giver; Bruce Wilkinson, 2003. Published by Multnomah Publishers, Inc. ISBN 1-59052-201-X