The Power of a Dream

Dreams are powerful. They drive great people to do great things. A dream led Martin Luther King Jr. to the White House lawn many years ago – a dream of equality and brotherhood between races in our nation.

Dreams inspire. Whether it’s William Wallace’s cry of “freedom,” Kennedy’s push toward the moon, or a 1980’s under-rated USA hockey team, dreams stir the soul and ignite the flames of hope within the eyes of the downtrodden.

Dreams conquer. They conquer fears, trials, doubts and naysayers. Young David dreamt of a free Israel and God’s glory as he sprinted towards Goliath. Life without a dream is no life at all. 

My own life was changed by a dreamer. His name is John, but I call him Pastor. Pastor John guided me through my high school years. When I graduated college, this man dreamed that I could be a pastor, too. He extended his social network when I wanted to be a missionary. He encouraged me when I braved the Sr. Pastor role. He guided me through doctoral work and encouraged me when I wanted to quit. Today, as an octogenarian, he sits on my church planting board. He dreams with me and has done so for more than 30 years. He’s my mentor. His dreams have trickled down into powerful dreams of my own.

Dreams are contagious. Like sweet aromas they pass from generation to generation carrying the seeds of future destiny. “I can be better. I can be stronger. I can be more.” These are the scents of providence.

Dreams are fragile. They grow in the soil of encouragement, forgiveness, patience, and discipline. They wilt under harsh waves of criticism and dry winds of neglect.

Dreams are universal. Every child who raises a bat dreams of the majors; who attends school dreams of acceptance; who looks in the mirror dreams of beauty.

Joseph, from the Bible, was a teenage dreamer (Genesis 37). Sun, moon, stars would bow to him one day. He knew this to be true, for he had seen it in a dream. Thirty-some years later this dream came true when his family discovered the dreamer they rejected had become the ruler of Egypt. The dream came true for the benefit of all, but it came true only through years of pain, rejection, imprisonment, and isolation. It was the dream that drove Joseph to greatness and held him warm on the cold prison nights. It was the dream that gave Joseph perspective and power to forgive those who had done him harm.

Dreams are powerful. They grow out of the Dream Maker’s own heart. God created a planet in which he envisioned all humans loved and loving. God dreamt of a life among his creation in which he would know and be known by his people. They would carry his name – a secret name yet to be told. The Dream Maker still cherishes this dream (Revelation 21:1-4). A dream drove his son, Jesus, to humbly take on the likeness of humanity and die a cruel death on a cross. This same dream inspires Christ’s followers to do likewise.

Mentors, you share the role of the Dream Maker who instilled your dream deep within. You are the sharers and purveyors of new dreams, hopes, and callings. You, too, are driven by his dream to reconcile the lost; to restore hope and dignity; and to pass on the sweet aroma of unrealized destiny to the next generation. Thank you for your dream!

Dreams are powerful.

-Ken Merrifield

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