The campus got its daily serving of vegetables Tuesday when Phil Vischer, co-creator and voice actor of VeggieTales fame, spoke in chapel.
Vischer spoke on the importance of letting God be in control and letting go of our own dreams. He learned this firsthand after being kicked out of Bible school and seeing both the rise and the fall of his Big Idea Productions
“I began making animated videos when I was nine,” Vischer said. “In 1993, I produced the first VeggieTales video. I was making a big difference. If I had this much impact with videos, I thought I could be the next Disney.”
Vischer explained that he wanted to be just like Walt Disney, because as an introvert he didn’t know what else he wanted to do, and that he had truly lost who he was. He set a goal for his productions to become one of the top four family media brands in 20 years.
The lofty goal that Vischer had set out before himself attracted “alpha males” to the company, each one eager to change something else. Soon, Vischer saw himself sitting on the sidelines of his own big idea.
“I learned that when you pull away from the world, you lose what you want to do,” Vischer said.
Although the dream ended in 2003, the VeggieTales creator still has a great outlook on life, and knows that the process he endured is what made him who he is now.
After listening to a cassette tape of a sermon, Vischer realized that what God could give him was truly enough. In Genesis, Abraham was willing to let go of everything else before he would let go of God.
“Why would God wand us to let go of our dreams?” Vischer asked.
Vischer stressed the importance of not making desires idols saying “Maybe God wants to know what’s more important to you—dreams, or him,” and making it clear that it is important to put God’s will ahead of our own desires.
Finishing chapel with a prayer, praying that we all would “focus on a relationship with [God] rather than be confused with our work for [God],” Vischer left an impact on everyone that was present.
For sophomore Jessica Williams, Vischer’s prayer made a big impact. After having his own plans changed during her senior year of high school, Williams took a year off of school and focused on what the Lord was calling her to do.
“I had a dream to be a professional dancer,” Williams said. “I was set up to go dance with a company and everything. But then I tore my hip flexor and was unable to dance for a while.”
During the time that Williams was unable to dance, she rediscovered her passion for photography, and realized what all she could do with that.
“I realized that I have this dream to make a difference with my photography for a reason,” Williams said. “Chapel re-fired me to keep chasing my dream and to take advantage of my resources here at JBU.”
Vischer encouraged sophomore Josh Kimmis in a different way.
Kimmis realized that because he is constantly focused on what other’s needs are and how he can help his friends accomplish their dreams, he has lost his. Kimmis has found himself thinking over the Verse Mark 12:31, where Jesus tells his people to “love your neighbor as yourself.”
“I’ve realized that I give so much of myself away, which isn’t a bad thing, but I’m denying myself,” Kimmis said. “I’m learning to say no sometimes and to step back and align what I want with what God wants.”
Vischer stated that knowing that God made him an introvert for a reason was a good thing, and that it is important to listen to Him before you take action.
Vischer now works over email correspondence with many of his employees, instead of working with hundreds at a time.
“Just because I tried to be Walt Disney, God didn’t promise to take care of it. He promised to take care of me,” Vischer said.
Vischer noted that there are several different ways that God has given him “a clean sheet of paper.” But that it is important to always stay focused on what He wants for you.
“God doesn’t care how big your impact is,” Vischer said. “He cares about how big your obedience to him is.”