I grew up hearing the importance of lofty goals. “Dream big,” they said. “The sky is the limit. Just believe, and all your wishes will come true.” They meant well, but I wish I’d been warned of the dangers.
Dreaming was fun. As a kid, I sat in the shade and imagined everything I would have someday. When reality struck, I was among the fortunate few who didn’t quit. I found a better goal that let me avoid the stress.
Each year, millions of businesses and individuals file for bankruptcy as a result of their commitment to lofty goals.
When Jesus said I should count the cost before I build (Luke 14:27–30), he was recommending a different goal in which I forsake my self-serving dreams for something better—which is whatever God chooses to work in my life. Doing that, I can live without stress as I enjoy whatever blessings he supplies along the way.
Faith is based on reality, but believing wastes its time and energy wishing it were so.

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