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Is your dream dead? Resurrection may be in store

Sept. 8, 2017 | by Tom Harper


My friend Mark left his sales job and embarked on a mission to Asia. His wife also quit her job. Eight years and two children later, they reluctantly reentered American culture.

Right before Mark launched his small business, a new competitor emerged and promptly offered him a job doing roughly the same thing. He took the job rather than try to compete. The adventurous entrepreneur in him experienced a letdown, but he also felt relieved that he wouldn't have to fight a competitive battle right out of the gate.

He accepted this as God's better plan, and his dream of owning a business awaited a new day.

In the book of Exodus, Moses returns to his Egyptian homeland to free his people from slavery. The goal: make them into a nation and lead them to the Promised Land. Of course, no one expected it would take 40 years. The people eventually felt duped by Moses and abandoned by God. What had happened to the original promise of freedom?

Have any of your dreams died? Mine have. It can be demoralizing.

According to the classic Creative Destruction (Doubleday/Currency, 2001), sometimes a product or company falls victim to destructive market forces. This is natural. A competitive environment requires its players to change or be left behind.

To succeed in the long term, we must allow for – and sometimes cause – these changes in our own organizations. We must give up on some dreams. Peter Drucker calls this “organized abandonment.” We can't keep investing time or money in things that don't provide a return.

If you have a longstanding dream you suspect may not be God's plan, why don't you ask him to help you hit refresh?

He may have a new day in store, a revived dream waiting just for you.


Tom Harper

Tom Harper is publisher of and CEO of Networld Media Group, the site's parent company. He has written three books, including Through Colored Glasses: How Great Leaders Reveal Reality (DeepWater Books, 2018), Leading from the Lions’ Den: Leadership Principles from Every Book of the Bible (B&H, 2010), and Career Crossover: Leaving the Marketplace for Ministry (B&H, 2007). Tom serves as a lay leader at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Ky., where he attends with his wife and three children.

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