BRADY COLUMN: Dream On! Dream On!

Published 12:35 pm Monday, March 18, 2024

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The biblical character Joseph was one of 12 brothers and somewhat a problem.  In my day, he would have been labeled “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 brothers received plain old denim. In addition, Joseph had the bad habit of being a tattle-tale on his brothers, and no one likes a tattle-tale.  Consequently, Joseph’s brothers were jealous and didn’t like Joseph. As a matter of fact, they hated Joseph and wanted to kill him. But 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? The dictionary defines dreamer as “an impractical person,” and that’s what numbers of us also think. We think of a dreamer as a person with his/her head in the clouds and out of touch with reality. On the other hand, the dictionary further defines a dreamer as “one who dreams.”  We are the “music makers and we are the dreamers of dreams,” wrote Edward Elgar and 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 of the best that is in us-our God-inspired visions.

Today, I’m using the word dreamer in this latter sense. First, dreamers are alive!  What is poverty? Presbyterian minister, David Mckechnic asked, “Is it when someone doesn’t have any money? Is it when someone is homeless and out on the street? Is it when someone is hungry?” As this minister stated, “Not in my opinion. Poverty is when a person doesn’t have a dream.” I agree!

Everybody needs to look forward to something.  What Aae you looking forward to?  What am I looking forward to? If the answer is “nothing” we need to get some help. But if the answer is simply, “I’m looking forward to having a meal with my friends or I’m looking forward to reading that novel,” then that is a healthy sign that we are alive and have a future. I love the story of that older woman who was celebrating her 100th birthday at a special birthday party.  When one of the guest asked her if she had any children, she answered with a twinkle in her eye, “Not yet.”

Second, dreamers offer hope to the world! Can you imagine living in a world without dreamers? With some exceptions like Adolph Hitler, dreamers offer hope to the world. The truth is, the human race would have made very little progress in any area of life if it had 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 a what can be. Having said this, I want to call your attention to a difficult societal problem. In the aftermath of shootings, drugs, the disrespect for law and order and other, we have finally begun to realize that we have allowed bad dreams and dreamers to get the upper hand.  

What we desperately need today is an abundance of good dreams and good dreamers to share them-offering hope rather than despair.

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

In the 11th chapter of Hebrews, the story is retold of those men and women who had gone out by faith in search of a better city, a better land. They never reached their goal. Yet, the Scripture tells us, “God is not ashamed to be called their God.” Why? Because even though they glimpsed that better city, that better land, “the dream was in their hearts.” So, by God’s grace, We are music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.