The power of a noble dream
Published 7:20 pm Tuesday, May 15, 2018
In a certain classroom in New Hampshire, a youth was asked to give an oral report to his classmates. Each attempt ended in embarrassing failure. Recalling his experience, he confessed:
“I could not speak before the school. Many a piece did I commit to memory, and recite and rehearse in my own room, over and over again, and yet, when the day came, when my name was called, and all eyes turned to my seat, I could not raise myself from it. When the occasion was over, I went home and wept bitter tears of mortification.”
But note that youth had a dream of being a notable speaker. He decided that he would conquer his timidity if it killed him. Did he succeed? To know his name is to have the answer — Daniel Wester. And to this day, he is still acclaimed by many as the greatest orator in American history. In this illustration, Louise O. Caldwell points out that such is the power of a noble dream.
It’s the only thing that keeps anybody up or moving — a dream, a vision, a purpose that’s worth giving your life to. How inspiring it is to see a man or woman so caught up in a noble dream that nothing can deter him or her. Such was and is the power of Nehemiah’s noble dream.
Dr. Walt Kallestad, innovative minister and author, expressed it this way, “Dreams can help us see the invisible, believe the incredible and achieve the impossible.”
Initially, a noble dream gives direction. “Save yourselves,” said Peter, “from this untoward generation”(Acts 2:40). That’s an unusual word, “untoward.” We don’t use it in our modern vocabulary. It means “not going toward anything,” going this way and that without direction or motivation, running around in circles.
Now, the New Testament tells us that part of the salvations process is to be saved from aimlessness, to get ourselves organized around some noble dream or purpose or vision. Aimlessness means to be scattered.
Salvation means to be made whole. So what we need in our lives is some master passion to hold our scattered lives together.
In the play “Amadeus,” Salieri, the court composer realizes young Mozart’s genius when he hears his music for the first time.
He then contemplates his own mediocre gifts by comparison and says to the audience, “Is it enough just to have passion?” If somebody were to ask me that question, “Is it enough just to have passion?” My answer would be, “It is not only enough. It is everything.”
We all need to be passionate about something.