July 2017. My alarm clock rings. I am sweating, my head is buzzing because the dogs on the streets have been fighting and barking throughout the whole night and the thin mat doesn’t contribute to my wellbeing either. Another morning in a Slum in the Philippines where my outreach team is helping out with the local church. The work itself is enjoyable - the circumstances and the discomfort aren’t. I feel discouraged, frustrated but mostly limited.
It was at this time where I felt a comforting voice disrupting my confusion: “Robin, you are in fact limited but I am unlimited. When will you finally believe me and when will you trust me with your future?”
I am sure that this voice belongs to God and back then I started to realize that the almighty God that is described in the Bible does not accept limitations and specifically he hates when we put limitations on what he can do in our lives. But now the question was “Do I try to keep God in a box or do I give him full access in my life and all the decisions?” Shortly after this prompt question I said the following prayer (little did I know about the consequences) “God, I will not limit you anymore and yes I will go wherever you say!”
… it didn’t work. Well my promise didn’t hold for long and I caught myself still using old thinking patterns and I still tried to explain everything and I still tried to “figure my future out” with “rational reasoning.”
I’m from Germany and without pride I say we are all about “smart thinking” : we love to engineer, we make accurate plans, minimize risks, manage the resources carefully, double check and double check again, we execute fast and efficient but first and foremost: we get rid of ideas that are out of the box and unrealistic visions.
Fast forward to the beginning of 2018: My Mentor looks with a distinct look straight into my eyes and with a smile he says: “Robin you have a big Problem, it is almost like something is limiting you! In my opinion you forgot how to dream. You are not thinking big!”
These words of truth hit me to my core. I think it is a unique feeling: when someone else finally puts the thoughts that have been running across your mind for the longest time together, labels them with words and forms them into a comprehendible, plain sentences.
And yes absolutely, that was my problem: I stopped to dream. But then memories came back: as a child it was possible and I would tell my parents about my visions and how I will be one day working with my best friends together, we would create together and how we would have our own business. Where did these dreams go - where did I burry them?
After countless sleepless nights and lots of prayer I decided to do something very unconventional for a 20 year old: I took a leap of faith and opened up my own small company. I would do design, video edit and film for clients and to my excitement the crazy thing was: it worked out and even after a while one of my best friends wanted to join the company, so in just a matter of few months I had a couple of friends working for me we had a own office space and I was able to pay them salary.
All of a sudden the vision that I had as a child became reality.
With that I discovered how this hectic experience helped to restore my lost ability to dream and how my relationship with God grew deeper through that because now I experienced firsthand that God is really for me and not against me and how he actually knows my passions /desires to 100% and is happy to give us the things we hope for.
I was in my happy place! And to be honest I felt really comfortable.
After some more months I felt like God asked me if would obey him and whether I would close down the business in faith. Without any perspective, without any alternative in mind... How ridiculous was that? After a lot of tears I went to the business department and shut the small company down. One because I remembered the promise I gave to God a year ago and also I was afraid of limiting God once again and keeping him in "the box“.
Some days later I got a call from Australia and the question was upfront: "Robin, what do think about doing a Basic Leadership School here? Oh and by the way if you say yes, you have to be here in 2 Weeks from now, what do you think about that?”
And you guessed right, I said “no.” Because that was not realistic and moving this far (literally more than 10.000 miles/few oceans over) without enough money was totally ridiculous. But then the picture of "the box" kept appearing in my mind and I realized that God really dislikes it when he gets told from humans that something is unrealistic.
A couple months later I find myself entrusted with leadership roles, lots of responsibilities and doing lots of relationship-building that I’m passionate about. Working alongside with friends. Sometimes it feels like I am inside the dream that I had as a young boy. I truly feel blessed to take my first steps in leadership in such an incredible surrounding
There is power in our imagination but I think it is essential to partner with God and we need to give him all access in our lives in order to see potential unleashed and dreams coming true. The God of the Bible shows so clearly that for him nothing is impossible but the contra intuitive question is: "do we really allow God to be unlimited in our life?”
I think it is time for you to ask the question: "What is the vision inside of me, what is it that I see when my eyes are shut?”
What is your dream? Tell God your dream and surrender it to him and I am sure that you will be surprised because I genuinely believe that God is even more passionate and excited about your dreams than you could ever be! He will make them happen! - but “unlimited” -style.