Making bread or waiting on a miracle?

Dan Miller —  May 22, 2012 — 15 Comments

What does it take to go from a dream to reality?   Do we simply wait on God or is there a process that requires our active participation?  I love the idea of having dreams – big dreams.   And yes, those dreams may come into view. But it requires a clear plan of action, imagination, desire, hard work, self-discipline, and faith.

What you have and are today are the result of God’s creation having been shaped and molded by human intelligence and hard work. The ancient Jews recited a prayer every year at Passover that describes how this works:

“Blessed are you, Lord, God of all creation. Through your goodness we have this bread to offer, which earth has given and human hands have made. It will become for us the bread of life.”

That prayer reveals a profound spiritual principle:  God’s gifts are raw materials, not finished products.  Think about the most revered sacrament in the church – Holy Communion.  Does God give us bread and wine?  Where can you find those in nature?  You can’t.   God makes wheat, He doesn’t make bread.  He makes grapes – not wine.  But when we take the raw materials God gives us, we can add our work and give them back to Him as an offering.

This is a picture of the spiritual life for each of us.  Every one of us has special gifts – singing, mathematical skills, writing, gardening, art, computer skills, selling abilities, teaching others, encouraging others. But whatever our gift is, it’s a raw product. It has limited value until we apply the discipline necessary to make it useful to ourselves and others.

Our lives are the bread that we make to offer back to God.  We get nothing but rough materials – life doesn’t hand us the finished product.  Life may even bring us obstacles or heartache along the way.  But ultimately, our lives are the bread that we prepare.  Our lives are what those around us see as the result of what we’ve done with those raw materials.

What are the three things you want to happen yet this year? What specific steps are you taking to move from a dream into a beautiful completed loaf of bread?  Recognize your role in the process and move forward with confidence, boldness, and enthusiasm.

The tragedy of a man’s life is what dies inside of him while he lives. —Henry David Thoreau

  • http://www.selfemployedmoneymanagement.com/ Ryan Eidson

    Wow! What an analogy.

    Do these ideas correlate with the biblical concepts of worship and living sacrifice?

  • http://www.fieldofdebt.com/ Jen McDonough

    Dan, 
    What a wonderful and beautiful blog! it is amazing what life can bring when we have “a clear plan of action, imagination, desire, hard work, self-discipline, and faith.” It is fun to see people working to develop their “raw materials” – so excited for those smart enough to be at your Coaching With Excellence seminar this week. Now those are some people finding ways to bake some pretty dang good bread! VERY COOL!
    Keep Living Beyond Awesome!
    Jen

  • http://www.workyouenjoy.com Adam Rico

    Pow! Dan, this one hit me right between the eyes. I struggle with balancing that tension between allowing God to work and my own efforts. Thanks for the encouragement to continue doing my part. 

  • NickChristian

    Dan, I like your statement ”
    But whatever our gift is, it’s a raw product. It has limited value until we apply the discipline necessary to make it useful to ourselves and others.” The encouragement I need to continue mixing the raw materials God has given me to expand His kingdom!

  • Tracy Ambrose

    Beautiful and encouraging!

  • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

    Great encouragement Dan, it truly is amazing when you have a plan and take action. The crazy thing is you start to accomplish those big dreams!

  • http://www.leadtoimpact.com/ Bernard Haynes

    Excellent post. It was very encouraging.

  • http://twitter.com/HenryMatlock Henry Matlock

    Love, love, love this post, Dan!  Like Adam, I am both convicted and encouraged to do more.  Thank you.

  • http://www.liveitforward.com/ Kent Julian

    Dan…didn’t I hear you answer someone at the Speak It Forward Boot Camp who was asking about a problem/challenge that their situation sounded like “an opportunity looking for a solution.” That line fits this blog well.

    And FYI, I’ve used that phrase a ton since hearing it :)

    • 48DaysDan

      Kent – yep that line still is used frequently around the Miller compound.

      • http://www.liveitforward.com/ Kent Julian

        Well…consider it borrowed. It’s now becoming a common phrase in the Julian household as well :)

    • http://rise365.com/ Michael Good

      Love that, Kent. Now it’s part of the Good household as well!

  • gisconserv

    Thank you for the encouraging words Dan. I really appreciate your wisdom!

  • http://www.leavingconformitycoaching.com/ Randy Crane

    I love this post, Dan. The word picture is incredibly powerful. So many people (at times including myself) seem to think that if we aren’t handed the finished product, then what we’re doing “isn’t God’s will” or “isn’t meant to be”. But the truth, as you said, is that we’re nearly always given raw materials and the skills & abilities needed to make them into the finished product. 

    The richer the raw materials, the more beautiful the finished product has the potential to be,  but it remains only potential without “the skills of the sculptor and the talents of the artist” (or mechanic, mathematician, doctor, or whatever). And unfulfilled potential is such a sad and tragic waste.

  • Judy Mance

    Very well written and illustrated!  Thanks for sharing your wisdom.