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Brandon Gross

Brandon Gross

Calling All You Dreamers – Part 2 – Lemonade Stand

All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them. – Walt Disney

Today’s post will be a continuation of last weeks post on the church “Calling All You Dreamers – Part 1”. You can read it here.

When I first moved to TN as a young kid all I could think about was karate and owning a business. I know, weird combination… I like to think the karate was an insurance policy for the business 🙂

My parents quickly saw my dream of wanting to do something with business and offered their support in the way of a 3.5″ Floppy Disk rightly named “Kids Business.”

I could feel the entrepreneurial spirit flowing from deep inside that tiny square wafer and directly into our Tandy 1000 home PC. There were hundreds of business startup ideas buried in the digital sea of MS-DOS. I starred at the screen intently not to miss one iota of adolescent business strategy.

What would be my new adventure, I thought to myself as I scrolled through the endless sea of possibilities. I knew I needed something that didn’t take much money because, well, that was what I was trying to get because I didn’t have any.

After what felt like hours of searching but was in reality only minutes I landed on the ‘Ol Yeller of kids’ businesses… The Lemonade Stand.

Ha, I loved lemons! Lemons were my favorite and now they were going to make me rich. I could see the droves of people lining up to buy my lemonade. Cups and gallons selling like liquid independence. I couldn’t wait to get started. I had the dream and was ready to make it a reality.

I quickly gathered the necessary startup tools. Poster-Board and markers… Check, sign made. Cash box… Check, lunch box will do. Lemonade… Check, mixed, chilled and ready to sell.

I couldn’t wait!

I decided I would go the next step and even give my customers a drive through window. Unfortunately, my bedroom window was about 500 feet from the nearest road so I decided it would be a walk-by window.

I slid open the window with all the hope a tiny tater-tot could muster and with anticipation placed my sign snugly between the top seal and the window screen leaving just enough room to poke my head around and take orders.

I timed my grand opening perfectly. I knew the moms in the neighborhood walked each evening that summer and I just knew they looked thirsty. My sign was ready and my lemonade was chilled. All I had to do now was wait.

And wait I did…

I waited for and hour… then two hours… then three… It was starting to get dark before I realized my new business venture was turning out like my now warm lemonade… Stale and un-refreshing.

I took my sign down, closed my window and licked my wounds. It was like all the dreams that had lifted me up with the prospect of my new kids business were now weighing down on me like sandbags full of stale lemonade. It was like all the dreams that had lifted me up with the prospect of my new kids business were now weighing down on me like sandbags full of stale lemonade.

I failed and just didn’t understand why.

I can now look back on that story and think of a thousand ways I could have done better and made the business work. I actually chuckle a bit looking back at mini-me poking my head around my poster-board lemonade sign in my walk-through window.

I love that story however. I love the lesson I learned from it. Failure and the willingness to get back up.

What I didn’t tell you is just a little while later I started another business selling custom made “creepy-crawlers” to my classmates. If you have never heard of a creepy-crawler, it was a rubbery, non-edible gummy formed in the shape of bugs and such. Think Easy Bake Oven for guys.

It was basically the same concept. Pour the goo in the metal tray and insert said tray into the plastic oven where it is heated up and cured by a light bulb. It was a toy but it was also a toy that could burn the house down. Oh, the joys of youth.

My creepy crawler business started doing so well even my teacher caught on. She caught on by shutting me down because it was becoming a distraction with all the orders I was getting. That was my first lesson in “kid business regulations” but that’s another story all together.

The point is I dreamed and failed and dreamed and failed but learned that the failure only made me dream more. I learned to get back up.

Many Christians have a dream of what the church should look like and can list all the ways she doesn’t meet that dream. She should be more loving, more giving, less structured, more gracious, more active, less judgmental… all at 72 degrees and with the music just right. The power of a dream is in it’s ability to move us into action. A dream that is not accompanied by action becomes a wish and a wish doesn’t move anyone.

The power of a dream is in it’s ability to move us into action. A dream that is not accompanied by action becomes a wish and a wish doesn’t move anyone.

The point I want to make is if you have a dream, be that for the church or for yourself and family. Don’t expect others to see the dream as clearly and passionately as you. You are the dreamer and you are the one who decides if that dream flourishes or becomes a wish that you look back on and “wish you would have done that”.

If you want to see the church become more active in the community, more loving, more gracious and more whatever… Then don’t wait for someone else, start with the form starring back in the mirror.

You are the dreamer and with you the dream lives or dies.

Check back next week for “Calling All You Dreamers – Part 3 – Should Your Dream Live or Die?”

 

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