BRADY COLUMN: Dream on! Dream on!

Published 9:30 am Friday, September 1, 2023

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The biblical character Joseph was one of the twelve brothers and somewhat of a problem. He would have been labeled in my day “conceited and stuck up.” Joseph’s multi-colored coat indicated that he was his father’s favorite child and he knew it. When new clothes were given to the brothers, only Joseph got the equivalent of a silk smoking jacket while the other brothers received plain old denim. In addition, Joseph had the bad habit of being a tattle-tale on his brothers. Now, no one likes a tattle-tale. Consequently, Joseph’s brothers were jealous, hated him and even wanted to kill him. But as we have been reminded, all these elements are only secondary in the story. The most important difference between Joseph and his brothers was that Joseph had a dream(Genesis 37:5). Joseph was a dreamer!

“Dreamer!” What do we think of when we hear this word? A dreamer has been defined as “an impractical person,” and that’s what most of us also think. We think of a person with his/her head in the clouds and for the most part out of touch with reality. In derision, we sometimes respond to a dreamer with the words. “Dream on! Dream on!”

On the other hand, a “dreamer” is further defined as “one who dreams.” We are music-makers and we are the dreamers of dreams, wrote Arthur O’Shaughnessy in “The Music Makers.” We dream dreams because we are born of the Spirit, and we are the music-makers because we must sing the best that is in us-our God-given vision. A dreamer may be an impractical person alright, but a dreamer keeping faith may just be an authentic channel of the Divine purpose.

Dreamers are alive! What is poverty? Presbyterian minister David McKechnie (longtime pastor of Grace Church in Houston, Texas) asked, “Is it when someone doesn’t have any money? Is it when someone is homeless and on the street? Is it when someone is hungry? Not in my opinion. It is my opinion that poverty is when someone doesn’t have a dream.” I agree.

I like the story of that older woman who was celebrating her 100th birthday party. When one of the guests asked her if she had any children, she answered with a twinkle in her eyes, ”Not yet.”

Dreamers offer hope to the world! Certainly not all dreamers offer hope to the world! Adolph Hitler was one who didn’t. He had a dream of a “pure race”of human beings. But his dream led to the irrational hatred of all Jewish people and ultimately, the Holocaust. But even with this and other bad examples, can you imagine living in a world without dreamers. I expect dreamers offer hope to the world. The truth is, the human race would have made very little progress in any area of life had it not been for dreamers. Dreamers offer hope to the world because they are never satisfied with what is, with the way things are. Rather, dreamers are always dreaming of what can be.

Authentic dreamers stay the course! I think authentic dreamers are prisoners of a dream. They are grasped by something of what this world can be, this city can be, this church can be, this life can be, and they are so grasp by it that they they are determined to reach all the possibilities to bring it about.

So by God’s grace, we are the music-makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams. And God and humankind are depending on us! Keep on dreaming!