Phil Vischer, creator of Veggie Tales, makes meaning of the mess that he found himself in when the company he founded, Big Idea, landed in bankruptcy court. He talks about this in his book, Me, Myself, & Bob: A True Story About Dreams, God, and Talking Vegetables. And I talked about him here. And here.
So what’s the big idea? Vischer draws some significant conclusions about the dreams, desires or goals that we have in life. This was my big “take away” from the book. He recalls learning from a pastor who preached from a passage in 2 Kings 4 about a Shunammite woman. He quotes the pastor’s conclusions:
“If God gives you a dream, and the dream comes to life and God shows up in it, and then the dream dies, it may be that God wants to see what is more important to you–the dream or him. And once he see’s that, you may get your dream back. Or you may not, and you may live the rest of your life without it. But that will be okay, because you’ll have God.”
Vischer goes on to question why God would want him to let go of his dream and finally realizes that anything he is unwilling to let go of is an idol and leads to sin. He describes how our “good” works become a “god” and start to define us, drive us, and destroy our relationship with God and others.
He says that he finally learned that the Christian life is not about doing great things for God and making a big impact, but walking with God in faith and obedience. He ends by recalling a speech that he nervously gave at a commencement ceremony. It was at a large Christian university, and his admonishment to this graduating class was unique. It was to take their dreams and aspirations and let them go. To kill them and find their peace in walking with God. It was a speech that flowed out of a past of failure and hard lessons learned, but yet out of the story that God had written for him before the beginning of time. A story that only he, a gifted storyteller, could tell as he finally surrendered to the Greatest Storyteller of all.
So there it is. Phil Vischer created Veggie Tales. He watched his company fall apart. And God has brought redemption and restoration, too. It’s a beautiful story. But then again, He’s a Great Storyteller.