Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.
What Erik Erikson did when he gave description to the stages of life development, Beth Booram has done for the process of birthing a God-given dream. In her book, Starting Something New: Spiritual Direction for Your God-Given Dream, the reader is introduced to the various stages of discerning, shaping, and birthing a dream. The basis of the book comes not just from the above Scripture passage, but also from her own experience of fulfilling a dream to start an urban retreat center. Each chapter also features other individuals who have followed the Holy Spirit’s promptings, following the format of interview, chapter reading, and reflection questions. The examples range from entrepreneurs who started their own small business to Christians who started a non-profit organization to individuals who simply felt called to use their talents differently.
Perhaps the greatest strength of the book lies in the reflection questions or discernment questions at the end of each chapter. It really is almost as though one has a spiritual director through this book, asking the insightful, Spirit-prompted questions that spiritual direction is all about. I think anyone who has a desire to start something new should consider reading this book, but this is an especially excellent “go-to” book for spiritual directors themselves. As for myself, I have been in the process of following my own God-given dream over the past year and this book has helped me to understand where I am at in the birthing process. It has also helped keep me from getting ahead of myself and God. Having seen some progress in fulfilling a dream I’ve had since I was in Germany, I’ve been somewhat anxious to get started, wondering if I should pusue this path or that, when I know I need to wait and follow Christ’s leading.
I do want to point out that while one chapter does mention writing a business plan for those whose dreams require it, this book is less about the technical details of creating a new venture and more about the discernment process and stages of a dream. The result is a book that is applicable not just for entrepreneurs in business or non-profits, but for all who feel a “small beginning” stirring in their heart. To learn more about the book, the following link will take you to a beautiful promotional video for the book: http://www.ivpress.com/videos/3597.php.