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The Power of Dreams

by Adrian Brown

If these people hadnít followed their dreams, would our world be what it is today?

 Last summer the twenty-ninth Olympic Games took place in Beijing, China. I just love the spirit of the Olympics! The Games bring together athletes and people from nearly all nations. The opening and closing ceremonies are by far a worldwide spectacle of pomp, flags, and artistry.

I’ve always wondered what it must feel like to win an Olympic gold medal after many years of hard work and sacrifice—the Olympic dream! The tears of joy with the national anthem playing, the bouquet in hand, and the cameras flashing at the medal ceremony always capture my imagination. Deep within my heart I long for a moment like that.
We can all have a moment like that. It all starts with a dream.
Dreams are like the Olympic spark that lights the fire of our imaginations. Dreams give us the courage to reach the unreachable, to harness the true power of our potential. High moments make the challenging and painstaking process worthwhile. 
Dreams are often associated with change. Mahatma Gandhi dreamt of India free from  British imperialism. He inspired movements of civil rights and freedom across the world.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., inspired by Gandhi, became the leader of the civil rights movement in the United States. King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech delivered from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963, in Washington, D.C., defined a moment in the American civil rights movement and American history.
Nelson Mandela, also inspired by Gandhi, dreamt of a South Africa free from the oppressive and discriminative system of apartheid. The dream of a democratic South Africa and the dismantling of the apartheid regime became reality in 1994 when Mandela became the first democratically elected president after spending 27 years as a political prisoner.
Dr. Aung San Suu Kyi, inspired by Gandhi’s philosophy of nonviolent resistance, dreamt of a democratic Burma (now Myanmar) free from the dictatorship of the military junta. She organized her people and started a peaceful movement for democratization.
The 1990 general election results earned Suu Kyi the right to be Prime Minister, but the Burmese military dictatorship refused to relinquish power and detained her. Unfortunately, Suu Kyi has been under house arrest since 1990, with the military junta repeatedly extending her detention.
Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela, and Aung San Suu Kyi, actuated by their dreams, were all awarded the Nobel Prize for their efforts.
We won’t all win Nobel Prizes, but we all have dreams, and we all should have a vision of what we want to see happen in our generation, if not for ourselves, for our family and friends.
What are your dreams? What steps do you need to take to reach them? Dreams oftentimes are not realized overnight and  require much effort. As Nelson Mandela said: “Many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires.”1
In striving to achieve your dreams, there are a few things you’ll have to do.
• Exercise wisdom. Wisdom is knowing when and how to apply knowledge. “[Wisdom] is a tree of life to those who embrace her; those who lay hold of her will be blessed” (Proverbs 3:18, NIV).2 Obstacles and opposition are inevitable, but let wisdom—God’s wisdom—be your guide through them.
• Learn from your mistakes. Regard failures and mistakes as good learning experiences.  Failure doesn’t have to end your dreams. Look at it as a temporary break that allows you to  look at what happened and see where you can make changes. Then move on.
• Don’t be greedy. As you pursue your dream, don’t be obsessed with hoarding material possessions. “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows”(1 Timothy 6:10, NKJV).3
We wouldn’t be where we are today were it not for people who had dreams. No matter where you are in life, keep on dreaming, reaching higher—for what God’s dreams are for you. One of them is “a crown that will last forever” (1 Corinthians 9:25, NIV).
1Taken from
2Texts credited to NIV are from the Holy Bible, New International Version. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
3Texts credited to NKJV are from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Adrian Brown writes from Las Vegas, Nevada.

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