If the tables and booths at Perkins could talk, what stories would they tell? My first date with my would-be husband was in a Perkins. We have eaten countless meals with youth group kids in Perkins. I’ve spent long hours of studying for a college exam in a booth at Perkins. And one of the most life changing conversations I’ve ever had took place over a crappy cup of coffee in a booth in a Perkins. It was a conversation that unchained my soul.
My husband and I had worked as youth pastors at our church for about 6 years at that point. It was a good solid church, with very old ideas. It was the kind of church that children grew up in… and then left. It wasn’t “cool”. It was just very solid in theology and family values, which is what families and old people look for in a church… but not youth or college kids. We worked with the youth. We paddled upstream. At this point, we were starting to feel like many of our dreams just were never going to be accomplished, or even approved by the board who was more concerned that the youth group not spill ketchup on their new carpeting than the fact that kids were loving Jesus here.
So we sat in a booth in a Perkins and had a conversation with a veteran missionary from Mexico who was in town. We shared our sense that God was moving us on, calling us to missions. We asked lots of questions about daily life and work in Mexico. And he answered our questions. Then he asked us the question that rocked my boat. He asked, “If you could do anything you wanted, without thinking of the cost or the obstacles, what would you love to do?”
No one, and I mean NO ONE. Had ever invited us to dream like that. I felt my soul come unleashed from dead end plans and dream killing skepticism. At first I couldn’t even think of what I wanted to do. Somewhere along the way I had lost my clear view of who I was and what I wanted. It wasn’t until someone asked me to verbalize what was in my heart that I realized that I had spent so many years trying to please everyone else didn’t even know myself anymore.
Permission to dream is what so many people are lacking right now. Dreamers don’t worry about who is going to pay for all this stuff. Dreamers don’t think about who is going to clean up the mess after the fact. Dreamers don’t parcel out the job responsibilities. Dreamers don’t always weigh themselves down with details either. Dreamers fly! Dreamers spin tales with gossamer threads. Dreamers MUST be free. Only an unchained soul can be free to dream. Dreamers have not forgotten how to be a child. Unfortunately this doesn’t give us permission to order off the children’s menu at Perkins.
So let me unchain YOUR soul to dream. If you could do anything you wanted, without being bound by cost or obstacles, what would you do?