Designing Tomorrowland

Have you ever designed a house? I have, well sort of. Although I’m not a real architect and my roughly sketched dream home certainly would have needed some adjustments, I still had the idea. There it was, sitting posed at the edge of a high cliff over the ocean, complete with fully glassed hexagonal room protruding into the void above crashing seas, even the baby grand piano. It was awesome!

Architects could have designed it, builders could have constituted it. I love how an architect can design something that’s not in existence as if it will be. True vision is seeing something that does not exist and planning to see it take shape. Interestingly, that’s pretty much how faith works too.

When we embark on a project or begin an exciting task there is a sense of expectancy. A ‘what if’ sense of all the possible possibilities. The reality is we all lead in some way, whether personally or corporately and we are all architects of what we can call ‘Tomorrowland.’

I get the past, and I’ve certainly made my fair share of mistakes along the way. Being brilliant at blunders, expert in errors and freakishly fantastic at failures, some could say I’m quite giftedJ

I’ve found as I travel, meet people and discuss all types of stuff, there are many who exist in a place where their yesterday steals their today and unless altered will consume their tomorrow. If you’re in that place today I hope this little encouragement is perhaps a spark to ignite something within you.

Sometimes everyone needs to pick up their pencil, grab some paper, a ruler, eraser and start to draw again. I believe in a God who never wastes a hurt and uses them to forge a better future. I guess that’s the premise and promise within my books. There’s this astounding example of a guy by the name of Nehemiah who, around 450BC, walked into an environment of brokenness, shattered dreams, guilt, past and crushing shame. This man then set about designing Tomorrowland. Tomorrowland is a beautiful place built using the material of the past, connected to the new, to create something stunning and lasting. There’s this fascinating part of the story where those who ridiculed the builders mocked and suggested that the raw material was too far gone, burnt and fragile. Yet this architect of Tomorrowland used the old material and built walls that can still be seen over 2500 years later. I get the sense that someone reading this blog today has thought it about themselves, that they’re too burnt, too far gone and perhaps too broken. This is not true. God is the ultimate recycler. He takes broken things and uses them to help other broken things become fixed. I think the extraordinary is most often and most profoundly birthed out of the very ordinary. We all have the ability, despite our past, to design our Tomorrowland.  So fellow architects of Tomorrowland and leaders of others and ourselves, let us finish with the great Protestant missionary William Carey words: “Expect great things from God.  Attempt great things for God.”

Darren Bonnell – Snr Ps Northwest Church

‘Gary’s story of recovery is made even more inspiring by his desire to guide others out of the fog. The way through is presented in clear, practical steps, without discounting God’s role in the healing process.’

Cartoonist and Author

Tony Colley


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