When I was a child, my favorite hymn at church was a called “Deep and Wide.” I guess I liked it because it had hand motions. We would sing it and illustrate it with our hands that there was a “fountain flowing deep and wide.” The meaning of the song was that God had provided, in the person of Jesus Christ, a fountain of salvation that flows deeply and widely. No matter how deep in sin a person had sunk, God’s love could reach them and deliver them. No matter how far flung they were in the world, no matter how far they had wandered, God’s grace could reach them. I didn’t understand the concept when I was illustrating it with my arms in children’s church, but the older I get, the more it means to me.
People are deep and wide too. Deep within us there is a dream that perfectly expresses our truest self, the person we were created to be. The scope of the deep dream is indeed wide—it stretches across our whole life and touches everything we do. It’s a good thing grace is deep and wide too, because people and their dreams need an all-encompassing reach of grace.
Some people may reject the idea of a deep dream. They may think they are “self-made,” and some seek to “re-invent” themselves. I have no doubt that effort makes a lot of difference and that we can indeed start over after making a mess of ourselves. But I doubt that anyone is really “self-made” or that they ever really “invented themselves” the first time, much less that they can “re-invent” themselves.
We all have a destiny. It is given to us by God, our parents, our families, our societies, and other forces over which we have no control. Nothing that we can change is part of our destiny—only the things we can’t change. I’m convinced that most of self-discovery is not invented by choices we make, but rather revealed by them. I think the deep dream is a precious gift to us that we discover as we walk out our destiny and enrich it with our choices.
So go deep. Discover your deepest self, your deepest dream. Trace out its implications over the wide scope of your life. And above all, lean into the grace of God that is deep enough and wide enough to fulfill you in every way. (P.S.: Reading my book will help!)