In Chapters 1 through 7 of The Dream Giver, Bruce Wilkinson gives us an incredible parable about a man named Ordinary and his Big Dream.
Ordinary lived in the Land of Familiar. Ordinary was a Nobody until one day the Dream Giver showed him his Big Dream. Ordinary was very excited to share his Big Dream with important people in his life, like Best Friend, Father and Mother. However, some people tried to convince him it just can't happen. This didn't stop Ordinary. He set out to find his Big Dream. It was difficult for Ordinary to leave his Comfort Zone but if he didn't then he would have to give up on his Big Dream. He also encountered the Invisible Wall of Fear and he knew he had to break through this to reach his Big Dream. He knew he had to take courage and move on towards his dream. Then in Chapter 3, Ordinary Meets Bullies in the Borderland. He thought for sure they would be Bullies that he didn't know. They ended up being his Mother, Best Friend and Uncle. All three of these Nobodies did everything they could to try to persuade Ordinary not to follow his Big Dream. That's when Champion, an old friend from Familiar who use to be a Nobody, showed up to encourage him. He explained to Ordinary that it's only natural for his Mother, Best Friend and Uncle to try and stop him. When Ordinary left to follow his Big Dream, it made his "Bullies" feel uncomfortable in the Land of Familiar. Champion encourages Ordinary to move on. At this point, Ordinary felt like he was about to reach his dream. But to his dismay, he entered into the Wasteland. He was in the Wasteland for days. He started to run out of food and water. He called out to the Dream Giver but didn't get any answer. He was finally able to find small drops of water and some fruit. Ordinary couldn't find his way out of the Wasteland and started to doubt the Dream Giver. That's when he met Faith. Faith helped Ordinary see that the Dream Giver was with him all this time, even though he couldn't see Him. Faith also taught Ordinary how to trust the Dream Giver. Ordinary moves out of the Wasteland. He next discovers the Dream Giver's sanctuary. Here, the Dream Giver was able to shine his light through Ordinary. This is when Ordinary was able to see all of the darkness that's inside of himself. Later on in the Sanctuary, The Dream Giver then asks Ordinary to give him his Big Dream. At this point, Ordinary was not ready to give up his dream. He'd been through so much. Ordinary had a choice. He could either give his dream back to the Dream Giver or he could keep it. He knew that if he kept his dream, it wouldn't please the Dream Giver and this was too upsetting for Ordinary. That's when Ordinary realized that it's not the Big Dream that he can't live without, it's the Dream Giver. So he surrendered his dream. The Dream Giver then gives Ordinary his dream back. He does this because he knew that Ordinary would now serve him through his Big Dream. Ordinary then reached the Valley of the Giants. Here he met a someone who shared the same dream as him and helped Ordinary reach his dream. Next he met the Giants. The first Giant he met was the Commander. The Commander helped Ordinary see how he needed to fight the Giants. He shared with him that everything the Dream Giver has been teaching since he left Familiar Ordinary will use as his weapons against the Giants. This is when Ordinary realized that he doesn't need actually weapons to fight these Giants. He needs the Dream Giver. Finally, Ordinary arrived in the Land of Promise. As he walked inside the Anybodies city gates, Anybodies started thanking him for coming and helping them. Ordinary saw how in need the Anybodies were. They begged Ordinary to stay with them. He told them he would stay but only for a short time. One day, when Ordinary was walking through the City of Anybodies, the Dream Giver walked beside him and helped him see that his Big Dream is here. Ordinary realized that his Big Dream was right in front of him. Ordinary didn't realize until that moment that it wasn't so much his Big Dream as much it was what his Big Dream would accomplish. Ordinary then became so devoted to the Dream Giver. The Dream Giver helped him go further, higher and helped him see that one day this will all become Familiar again and he would have to pursue a Bigger Dream. Ordinary was very excited about this because he knew the Dream Giver would be with him. Bruce Wilkinson closes this parable with a letter that Ordinary writes to his Father encouraging him to follow his dream. That's it's never too late.
(At this point, I would like to open up a discussion between all of us. Please join in by answering one, some or all of the questions below in the Comment Section. We would also like to encourage you to add some of your own questions. Either something you don't understand or maybe a part of the parable that we didn't include above that you felt was important to you. This is a great way for us to encourage and lean on each other through this study!)
1. Who do you think is the Dream Giver?
2. Would it have been easier or harder for you to the leave the Land of Familiar if you were Ordinary?
3. Why do you think the Bullies really wanted to keep Ordinary from following his dream?
4. When Ordinary was in the Wasteland, why do think it was so hard for him to see the Dream Giver there with him after he found water and fruit?
5. Why didn't Ordinary follow the Dreamers who were returning to the Land of Familiar?
6. What do you think Ordinary learned after he gave his dream back to the Dream Giver? (After he gave it back but before the Dream Giver returned it to him.)
7. Why do you think the Commander told Ordinary that unbelief is more dangerous than the Giants?
8. Why did Ordinary write on the Warrior's headstone "Here lies a Mighty Warrior. She finished her dream." ?
9. Why did the Dream Giver want Ordinary to lay down his weapons?
10. What do you think Ordinary's Big Dream was?
Please help us stay in the parable of Ordinary while answering these questions. The second half of the book, Bruce Wilkinson uses to help us find our Big Dream and to help us take these ideas out of this wonderful parable and pertain it to our lives.