Do you have a Vision?
“If you build it, he will come.”
Regardless if you think the Mandela effect messed with this quote from the 1989 movie hit Field of Dreams (starring Kevin Costner); the quote became a pop-culture mainstay – and with good reason.
But I didn’t always feel this good about this feel-good movie.
I remember when I first saw it as a mere teenager, it left me somewhat cynical. Well, back in the day, I kinda was. Not only did I not have any dreams and hopes for myself, but coming from a broken and dysfunctional family, I was, for all intents and purposes, pretty broken myself. I wasn’t the type of guy that had any hopes or dreams and so I had a hard time appreciating this sort of thing. So, to make a long story short, I didn’t appreciate the movie for what it was worth or for its lessons.
Fast forward to just last month…
My wife and I decided to watch Field of Dreams with the kids for movie night. After all, we did remember it as a clean movie fit for young children. All I can say is: What a difference 28 years can make on our outlook! I loved it!
It’s incredible how much a man can change through personal and spiritual growth when he decides to be intentional about it. That’s what happened to me. I grew so much in the last 2 years (and let’s not even mention the last 28), that my appreciation for certain things did a 180°.
And so, I found the movie so inspiring that I decided to revisit it today and share with you my takeaways from it.
1- Your dream is yours and yours alone.
When Ray Kinsella hears the voice that tells him ‘If you build it, he will come’, he is alone. He is the only one to whom the vision is given. At first, when he undertakes the building of a baseball diamond right into his corn field, his wife, Annie, thinks he’s undergoing a midlife crisis – and with good reason. Nevertheless, she eventually buys into his vision and supports him.
Oftentimes, when we have a deep desire, a vision, a dream, we can feel quite isolated. I once heard a speaker say this:
“My dream is mine, my vision is mine. It was given to me by God. I don’t need you to endorse it.”
For some, this can even mean not getting any support, understanding, or help – even from a spouse. Pursuing a dream or a vision can be, in the beginning at least, a very lonely journey.
2- If nobody mocks you for your dream, it’s just not BIG enough.
All throughout the movie, we see Ray’s own inner struggles as he wrestles with doubts about his own sanity. We also see how other people think he’s lost it. Other farmers in the community, family members (especially his brother in law), and neighbors all talk behind his back. He is ridiculed, mocked, and seen as a man who has lost his marbles. And when people come to Ray’s house, they can’t see what he sees, i.e. the players on the baseball field. So, when they see him starring at the field, they thing he’s just two fries short of a happy meal. His brother in law gives him quite a hard time and he is very verbal about it.
But the admirable thing is that in spite of it all, Ray just keeps going where his vision pulls him. One seemingly illogical step after the other, he just keeps moving and obeying ‘the voice’ that urges him further.
Obviously, when we decide to be committed to our dream/vision, we often face ridicule. Often, the people we care most about; our friends and family, will say hurtful things that may discourage us. But you know what? Most often, the ridiculing and mocking comes from our own inner thoughts. The “Are you crazy?”, “This will never work”, and “It’s impossible”, most often come from ourselves through inner dialogue. That said, mockery, disbelief, and ridicule will inevitably come from others… unless your dream is too small.
3- How far are you willing to go?
Once he got the support of his wife, Ray got a second wind, and more of the voice… This time he is urged to ‘ease his pain’. When he finds out this refers to controversial author Terence Mann (played by James Earl Jones), he decides to go on a road trip – with his farm on the brink of bankruptcy and his life in disarray. He heads from the corn fields of Iowa to Boston in order to go meet Mann. Once there, he convinces the reluctant and embittered author to attend a game with him at Fenway Park. And from there… more magic happens.
Commitment to a dream will often make us do some pretty crazy things. John Assaraf, the NLP coach and author, says:
“Are you interested, or committed? The difference between the two will determine whether you succeed or not.” – John Assaraf
Logic might say one thing, but sometimes, you just gotta follow your heart and your guts. That’s where the magic happens! Sometimes, you just have to never mind your mind (pun intended). Ray did this in the movie, and that’s when things got even more interesting on his journey.
4- Partner up along the way.
Ray Kinsella and Terrence Mann end up partnering together after Mann confirms hearing and seeing the same things as Ray.
If you persevere in the pursuit of your dream, God will eventually bring along the right people to aid you. At first, you might go it alone; but at some point, if you are relentless, others will buy into your vision. Others will eventually see what you see and want to go where you go. This is the equivalent of God’s pat on the back. Partnerships are the wind in the sail of the visionary. They strengthen him, they expand his vision, and they help it come to fruition. They are essential to achieving success.
“Nothing of significance was ever achieved by an individual acting alone.” – John C.Maxwell
The partnership between Ray and Terrence is a pivotal point in the story. They complete each other admirably well. One is a pragmatic gifted in research (Mann), and the other is the curious one who always follows his intuition. Your partnership with someone of value (who values your vision) will also be a pivotal point in your story. It will add value to you and flesh out your vision in ways you never thought of.
5- If you build it, they will come.
The best scene, in my opinion, is found at the very end of the movie. That’s when Ray’s whole vision comes to completion. That’s when the dream materializes in an amazing way.
You see, at the end of the movie, he knows he has to make a choice: sign the foreclosure on their mortgage in order for him and his family to survive or…
I won’t spoil it all for those of you who didn’t see the movie, but Ray’s daughter and Terrence convince him not to sign the papers. Terrence’s speech alone is worth the movie and epitomizes what comes from a completed vision. He tells of how people will come once the vision comes to fruition. Here are his exact words from the movie:
“Ray. People will come, Ray. They’ll come to Iowa for reasons they can’t even fathom. They’ll turn up your driveway not knowing for sure why they’re doing it. They’ll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past. “Of course, we won’t mind if you look around”, you’ll say, “It’s only $20 per person”. They’ll pass over the money without even thinking about it: for it is money they have and peace they lack. And they’ll walk out to the bleachers; sit in shirtsleeves on a perfect afternoon. They’ll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they’ll watch the game and it’ll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they’ll have to brush them away from their faces. People will come Ray. The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good and that could be again. Oh…people will come Ray. People will most definitely come.”
And then, as the movie ends, we see a lineup of cars in the dark, as far as the eye can see. Terrence was right. The voice in Ray’s mind was right also. Ray built it… and they have come! They have come from everywhere to this humble farmer’s house in Iowa. They have come from everywhere to be inspired; because money they have, but peace they lack. They have come from everywhere to witness a completed vision, because it is a rare and valuable thing to witness indeed.
I will leave you with a quote by by Howard Thurman about what makes us come alive – pursuing our vision:
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman
And my friends, people come alive when they accomplish something that is from the inside out. They come alive when they are given a vision from God, and they do it without question. They come alive when they plant and harvest in a field of dreams.
Noah knew it, Abraham knew it, Ray knew it… and now you know it.
“Now, go. Build it, and they will come.” – Sebastien Richard