"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." Eleanor Roosevelt. "Hold fast to dreams, For if dreams die, Life is a broken-winged bird, That cannot fly. Hold Fast to dreams, For when dreams go, Life is a barren field, Frozen with snow." Dreams by Langston Hughes. "I Have a Dream," Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. "Where there is no vision, the people perish....."Proverbs 29:18.
The lazy, hazy, days of summer allows one plenty of time to pause long enough to reflect on one's goals and aspirations. Careful though, the ease of this season can relax ambition indefinitely. Summertime is only one of many excuses to take it easy to the point of inactivity. It will do for the purposes of this writing. The problem with too much relaxation is that it breeds more relaxation, procrastination, and most often leads to lack of motivation to the point of putting dreams, plans, etc., on suspension. If on hold long enough, the outcome will be the same as if no dream ever existed.
The definition of dream/s is defined as "a cherished aspiration, ambition, or ideal. My dream (one of them) is to become a bestselling author. "The distance between your dreams and reality is called action." Ben Francia. Inaction can foster the inability to realize a dream. There is life in planning to follow your dreams. Hope is renewed when action is designed and implemented to make a dream come true. I sense this when I commit myself to writing each day.
Dr. King inspired generations with his, "I Have a Dream" speech. It was followed by definitive action, commitment and great sacrifice. This speech, along with the dedication of Dr. King and those who joined him in his pursuit of actualizing this dream provided the impetus to change the nation and the world for the betterment of mankind. He did not live to see his dream realized, but the dream was kept alive. His dream was contagious; we caught it, built momentum, and continued to move it forward. Laws were enacted to address the issues of racism, discrimination and inequality which he fought and died for. Dr. King's dream was powerful, beautiful, timeless, necessary, and worthy of pursuit, even with the passing of the dreamer. We believed in the dreamer and the dream, and we refused to let it die. We are still reaping the benefits of trying to achieve fully the scope of Dr. King's dream. Our lives are better because of his dream. We still have a ways to go, but this dream put the nation and the world on the right path, and it is up to us collectively to stay in pursuit. "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." Eleanor Roosevelt.
The value of a dream is that it serves to identify a goal or ideal that is important to the dreamer and/or perhaps society at large. Dreams lift us to a higher self and stimulates the desire to believe in ourselves, while building confidence as we take action to accomplish our dreams. Basic steps begin with analyzing our dreams. Not every dream requires attention. But, dreams that impact (have the potential to impact) our lives or take us to the next level and/or fit into a worthwhile plan or pattern for our lives, need to be considered for action. Only you know what that is.
"The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." Lao Tzu. To put it succinctly, nothing is accomplished if no action is taken. A dream requires action in order for it to become reality. More than that, dreams motivate us to get started; putting us on the road to success. It is a starting point. It is a road map leading to a sought after destination. "If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there." Lewis Carroll. Dreams put you on the road where you want and need to be.
A dream is not necessarily something you go to sleep and everything that you want is laid out before you and you wake up and decide, "this is it." More than likely a grand plan is not revealed in that fashion. ( I am not saying that it cannot happen that way. But, I don't think so.) It is more probable that you have long harbored an aspiration (a special job you wanted or a career that interested you) or an ideal (doing something to improve the human condition) and you wish to make it happen. In your heart, you believe this thing will drive you to realize your life's passion and you will find joy and fulfillment. Dreams have the potential to inspire you to set goals and take action. Without a dream, you may find yourself wandering without a definite direction; wasting time, wasting life.
In the scripture noted above, Proverbs 29:18, "the vision was to be found in the word of God." Vision is defined as: the ability to think about or plan the future with imagination or wisdom." "Where there is no vision, the people perish..."Proverbs 29:18. Briefly, what this means is that without the revelation of God's will, the people "cast off restraint," or in other words, they become ungovernable. The prophets were the instructors of the people in divine things. They shared God's vision for the people by revealing God's word to them. "The one fatal effect of the absence of such revelation of God's will is stated to be confusion, disorder, and rebellion; the people uncontrolled, fall into grievous excesses, which nothing but high principles can restrain." Ellicott's/Pulpit Commentary.
Vision, prophecy in its widest sense, denotes revelation of God's will made through agents (prophets), which directed the course of events, and was intended to guide the hearts and behavior of God's people, spiritually speaking and as they lived under secular authority. Without this guidance, they were prone to run "amuck." Witness what we are watching today. I'm just saying. Guidance is still needed, even today.
A vision, like a dream is a starting place to put us on the path to living our best/blessed life. A dream can be manifested into a vision, a deeply held ideal, conviction, or goal one wishes to explore. Without a dream or a vision, life can be without purpose or direction. Self evaluation/assessment is always in order. What are you waiting for? What are you doing? What are you not doing? Perhaps you are so relaxed that you have forgotten that you are headed somewhere or not. Think about it. Then be about it!
DO YOU HAVE A DREAM? "A single dream is more powerful than a thousand realities." J.R.R. Tolkien Search your soul. Examine your reality. Ask the hard question. "Have I made the most of what God has given me?" We all have something to offer the world: something as small as a loving smile; kindness, or as huge as a large gift of lots of money to help the needy. Seek to maximize your gifts and dreams so that you may bless someone else. "No matter where you are from, your dreams are valid." Lupita Nyong'o. Dream big. Our ultimate goals are to love God and to love others as we love ourselves. Matthew 22:35-40. You want the best, strive to give this to your neighbor. Start with a dream, embrace the vision and move to action.
HAVE YOU GIVEN UP ON YOUR DREAMS? REBOOT! God is the God of another chance. He offers us more than a second chance because He wants to redeem us not only for our own sakes, but for others. We are free to choose our own path, but God knows what we will choose. When we fall off the path or have lost it altogether, He is right there to guide us. God knows what is best for our lives. We are the ones who have to acknowledge that we are not on the right path. "A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams." John Barrymore. You/ We need to REBOOT; start over. We need simply to seek God's intervention and guidance; He will enable us to get back on track. Don't allow pride or shame to block your blessings. God knows who we are, and what we lack. He knows our human frailties. He loves us anyhow.
NO DREAM? Maybe you feel like you never had a dream or a vision No problem. I used to struggle with what gifts God had given me. I had no demonstrable talent or skill. Well, I went to school and acquired a few degrees, but I did not see these as gifts. But, in sharing this with my church school class that I teach each Sunday, I was taken aback with their comments about all of the gifts they believed I possessed, starting with the gift of (teaching) lovingly sharing God's word for over twenty years, kindness, generosity, empathy, etc. At my retirement party (I am a retired teacher/administrator), my fellow colleagues and some of my former students spoke. All I can say is, I am so grateful that God has allowed me to share the many gifts that He has given me over the years (even the ones that I did not know I had) and that I made a difference in the lives of a number of people. I can acknowledge the gift of communication through writing, and with God's help I am going to maximize this gift to benefit others. That's the dream, that's the vision.
PRAY AND MAKE YOUR REQUEST KNOWN TO GOD; HE HEARS YOU. Pray and ask God to give you a vision for your life, and share the blessings that you will receive as a result with others. "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8. You can do this right now. Right where you are. Go for it. God already knows what the vision for your life is. Trust Him. Jeremiah 29:11.
Rise above complacency, dust off your old dream, pray for a new one and/or clarity of vision and take the first step to put the dream into effect. I have discovered that with God all things are possible, if I only believe and am willing to do the work. Philippians 4:13. Make it happen. Godspeed!
"Without dreams, we reach nothing, without love, we feel nothing, without God, we are nothing." Manny Pacquiao
God bless you!
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Thank you always for your continued support.