Dreaming and Doing

I've been reading Making Ideas Happen by Scott Belsky. I'd like to say I avoid how-to books focused on the topic of creativity. I don’t. Type creativity+ideas+productivity into the Amazon search bar. You'll get a long list of books, like Belsky's, by ‘experts’ giving readers advice on how to make things happen. My inherent and reflexive cynicism over-rides my ability to believe that any of these authors have something new to say.

In that regard, I'm a hater. I ignore the plain truth that their expertise is self-evident. Publishing a book, no matter how many people read it, is an admirable feat.

My lack of respect is eclipsed by a guilty pleasure: I put off real work by reading books about how not to put off real work. In the case of Belsky's book, my procrastination might serve a purpose.

Making Ideas Happen doesn't blaze any new trails. It does, however, offer practical help for dreamers without the over-blown descriptions of the creative process. Belsky's tutorial curates best practices from individuals and companies that have developed new ideas at an astonishing rate and managed to implement those ideas. If you are hoarding a brilliant idea for a new backyard garden or side business and need a kick in the pants, this book is for you.

Churches are full of dreamers and dreams. But sometimes they allow dreamers too much space and time to dream without holding them responsible for making their ideas happen. The worst offenders might be pastors, like me.

Our tendency to dream is more pronounced when our good ideas are coupled with blind, misinformed faith in the ‘power of God’. That would be fine if all God did was sit around eating fun-size Snickers, waiting for us to come up with good ideas before doing anything. Clearly, that isn't the case.

I believe making ideas happen is more about joining God in doing work that already has begun and will likely continue, whether we think we dreamed it or not. God's ideas will always be bigger than our ideas but the steps necessary to join God in making them happen are small, incremental, and often happen in the shadows. Big ideas attract bright lights. Making them happen demands that you stay put and labor, even through the dark of night.