If you and I were to talk awhile and I were to pry into your soul, it wouldn’t take long for me to discover you have dreams. You have goals and aspirations you want to fulfill. And if I were to pry a little further, we might trace each dream back to its inspiration—to the book, film, hero or experience that first gave you a glimpse of what to aim for.
God has a dream for the world. This dream is no mere wish – its fulfillment is promised. We don’t know exactly what this dream will look like, but we’ve been given a glimpse. And it’s a dream that can inspire our dreams too.
I used to direct a radio campaign that raised support for children in poverty. The best part of the job was interviewing the kids, and no matter which country I visited, every child I met had a dream. A girl in Manila wanted to become a doctor. A boy in Kolkata wanted to become a policeman. This one wanted to be a rock star; that one wanted to be President. Poverty was no hindrance to their dreaming.
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Then I went to Haiti and met Evia and Maria. They were restaveks—domestic slaves. And no matter how I asked the question—What would you like to do with your life? What would you like to be when you grow up?—they couldn’t answer me. Because they had no dreams. And that’s when I realised that dreams require inspiration. If you lack access to inspiring books, films, teachers or heroes, as these girls did, you won’t have any dreams for your life.
Martin Luther King’s famous speech I Have a Dream was inspired by many things, mostly scripture. He quotes from Isaiah, Amos, the Psalms, and when you draw these and similar passages together you discover that God has a dream too—a dream that can inspire our own.
God’s dream is a world of fulfilled longings
I think Blaise Pascal was right when he intimated there’s a God-shaped hole in the heart that only God can fill. God’s dream begins with our deepest longing being met through relationship with him.
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God’s dream is a world of healed wounds
Isaiah and the book of Revelation talk about our tears being wiped away by God’s own hand as all sorrow, pain and death are gone.
God’s dream is a world of radiant beauty
Earth is described as one day gleaming with very beauty of God—a beauty like the most dazzling of jewels.
And God’s dream is a world of restored harmony
….where there’s peace between nations as they turn their swords into gardening tools, economic justice for the poor, streams rushing in the desert as the environment is made whole, and where little girls in Haitian servitude find their freedom.
I don’t believe such a world is within our power to make—it will be God’s doing. But in his own famous speech, the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus invites us to start making God’s dream a reality now—his kingdom coming ‘on earth as it is in heaven’. And it’s a dream I believe we can all find a place in: nurses and therapists sharing God’s healing, designers and filmmakers spreading God’s beauty, aid workers and politicians restoring God’s harmony, builders, drivers, cleaners and writers all keeping the dream growing.
This is the dream that motivates my life.
Dear Evia and Maria, this is my dream for you too.