Do You Have a Dream?

When I was ten years old I wanted to play second base for the St. Louis Cardinals. Well, I still want to play second base for the Cardinals . . . .

What did you dream of doing when you were ten, twenty, thirty?

What do you dream of doing now?

It is a great question that we hear tossed our way every now and then, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

When we hear that question, we know it really asks us, “What would you like to be doing that would make you happy?” Have you asked yourself that question lately?

It is a question that has no boundaries. It does not matter if you are young, old, mid-career, or retired.

Fifty years ago, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered one of the most famous speeches in our nation’s history on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. In his “I Have a Dream” speech he outlined this country’s racism and his hope for a day when his children would be known for the “content of their character not the color of their skin.”

Today, President Obama will take the public oath of office for his second term as president of the United States. His story punctuates Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream.

On a national holiday memorializing Martin Luther King, Jr. and a day when President Obama takes his second oath of office, each of us should pause for a moment and ask, “What is my dream?”

Frederick Buechner has a wonderful book called Wishful Thinking: A Seeker’s ABC. Filled with brief reflections on everyday words, there are many treasures to be discovered. I enjoy his reflection on “vocation.”

“Vocation” means to be called to something. Buechner says finding one’s vocation means finding the place where “one’s deep gladness and the needs of the world meet.”

What are you called to do?

Imagine your dream making the world a better place? That world can be as small as your personal life or your family and as large as your career or your community.

What do you dream of doing? Where can you find your gladness?

Do not be discouraged if your dreams seem out of reach.

Remember these four things about dreams.

1. Dreams need nurturing.

Even fairy tales have princesses and princes waiting years for their dreams to come true. You may need lovingly to hold your dream close and believe in it beyond all reason.

2. Dreams need vision.

Trust the insight you have. Believe in the hope you carry. Commit to your intuition.

3. Dreams need action.

Do something small and basic every day to work toward your dream. Fitness improves with each walk. Relationships improve with each conversation. Start with the basics.

4. Dreams need you.

Each of us have unique gifts. We bring our own nurturing vision to find gladness and meet the needs of our world.

On a day like this when we have stark reminders that dreams do come true, take stock of your own dreams.

Commit to pursuing the kind of deep gladness that changes the world around you and makes all your dreams come true.

Do you have a dream? What will make you deeply glad while meeting the needs of others?



  • Tom Ebner

    Just spent a weekend retreat listening to God for my vocation. Im currently working on a vision.

    • darrell

      Tom–I really want to encourage you to “believe in the hope you carry.” Keep reaching for the vision because it will help you find your future in so many ways. Thanks for commenting!

  • Powerful post. Thank you for writing it. Pursuing something beyond all reason can sometimes feel futile. We look for confirmation and when met with resistance, we question whether our dream leans toward playing for the cardinals or preaching on social change.

    • DarrellGwaltney

      Thank you for the kind comment, Jeff! I think you’re right in that we are so easily discouraged when we do not receive confirmation. I believe our dreams are most effective when we hang onto to them despite the response of those who cannot see what we see.