Live Large and Dream Small

Dreams are fantastic. They capture our imagination and launch us on ventures. Sometimes the end wonderfully conforms to the dream. At other times the steps and plans towards a particular dream mysteriously lead us in new but nonetheless desirable directions.

Yes, dreams are good and should, pretty much always, be encouraged but a lively little poem from the poet and clergyman R.S. Thomas beautifully challenges me to embrace life now ……to ‘Live large and dream small.’

Lore by R.S. Thomas

Job Davies, eighty-five
Winters old, and still alive
After the slow poison
And treachery of the seasons.


Miserable? Kick my arse!
It needs more than the rain’s hearse,
Wind-drawn to pull me off
The great perch of my laugh.


What’s living but courage?
Paunch full of hot porridge
Nerves strengthened with tea,
Peat-black, dawn found me


Mowing where the grass grew,
Bearded with golden dew.
Rhythm of the long scythe
Kept this tall frame lithe


What to do? Stay green.
Never mind the machine,
Whose fuel is human souls
Live large, man, and dream small.


Job, in the poem, may be dreaming small but he presents a big idea!

It is of little gain if on the way to the dream you shatter friendships, lower standards, ruin your health, fail to nourish your soul and become time poor or blind to beauty. Yes, there is a time to dream big but achievable (small) dreams keep us from living in fantasyland.

The poem challenges me to ask ‘living large’ questions, like:

  • Am I listening to God?
  • Am I honouring my family?
  • Am I nurturing Christian faith among parish members?
  • Am I modelling a love of neighbour?
  • Am I caring for creation?


What ‘Living Large’ questions would you add?



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