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COLUMN: Take a moment to dream with me

Friday, February 5, 2010 | 12:01 a.m. CST

I have always been a daydreamer. As a boy I dreamed of having enormous riches. I dreamed of having rooms full of gold to be used for any purpose. I dreamed of supremacy, of ruling many people and receiving the plaudit of the millions. 

I continued to have dreams of love and marriage and a home. Then I dreamed of success, of being a big executive and of wielding power in the business world.

But one day Christ came and called me into another life and all my dreams were changed.  Today my dreams have come true. As I have the high honor of being an officer in The Salvation Army, all my dreams in the service to people and the Army are continually coming to pass right before my very eyes. “"Whoever wants to be great must become a servant. Whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave. That is what the Son of Man has done: He came to serve, not be served -- and then to give away his life in exchange for the many who are held hostage," Matthew 20: 24-28 (The Message).

Our Salvation Army is not built on dreams alone. First the dreams, then the hard work that makes the dream come true. We must dream together that our army of soup, soap and salvation indeed has the power to transform and change lives as dreams become reality. The Bible says without a vision or dream the people perish. I have a dream, and I pray that you too will dream with me, that our Salvation Army will be a force of unified soldiers of service. Here’s a prayer, “Lord, please give me your eyes to see others as your special creations. I desire so much to be the kind of visionary you want me to be. Amen."

Recently I’ve been sitting quietly by day or lying in bed at night and dreaming of what The Salvation Army could be for people in need. But our army is not made of brick and stone – these only make buildings. Our Army is made of men and women and boys and girls. This army is made of human personalities, human brains, human hearts, human hands and human services to reach the lost.  Jesus Christ is our chief cornerstone. Jesus is the foundation, and you and I are the smaller stones that make up his spiritual force in this community — today and tomorrow. This type of power is at our disposal, through the aspirations, hopes and dreams our Lord wants us to have as we serve people in need, helping them construct their own dreams for a brighter future. Without a clear-cut vision for the things of God, you may find yourself just daydreaming your life away.

Have you ever known somebody who daydreams? The look on his or her face is as blank as a piece of unmarked paper and surely lifeless. You may see their physical body, but their mind is in another place. This person’s mind is far, far away in no man’s land. I wonder sometimes what people are meditating on when they are in a state of daydreaming. I mean their deep innermost thoughts and dreams. Are they pure, holy and focused on the right activities or Christian living? 

God wants us to be a daydreamer for him, thinking of his blessings and the love he has for all people, so our minds won’t stray from his goodness.  We can not trick God because he knows us better than we know ourselves. So, dream about how favorable God has been to you, all the blessings he has given you and his blessings that are waiting for you. I am certain that your life will be one big spiritual reality of God taking good care of all your genuine needs — not a dream that will never come true. Let’s dream of what we can become as a body of Godly dream weavers.  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s, “I Have A Dream” speech has encouraged many people through the years to create their own dream and to work for unity and harmony. 

Here is my version of, “I Have A Dream.”

I have a dream that one day every unsaved person will come to know the colorblind Christ, who has the supernatural authority to change every earthly tribe, from tribulation to truthfulness, and from transgression to liberation.  If we are red, yellow, black or white it makes no difference, because we’re all precious in his sight.

Will you dream with me that service and salvation might unite as one to bring about renewed redemption to every color of God’s family because we’re created in his likeness?

I have a dream that our holistic human services will meet the total needs of society’s downtrodden, who suffer from homelessness, substance abuse, hunger or any other social impediment with no regard for cultural background. Our warfare is against the social workings of the land that should not endorse a handout, but extend a hand up that reaches to God’s highest heavenly height.

Will you dream with me that suffering humanity might experience the holy humility of every weary warrior of Jesus Christ, for the bliss of the master is our strength?

I have a dream that our soldiers and officers will serve in unification with no regard for rank. Our service to the needy and the like-mindedness of Christ will be the spiritual glue that holds us together. Since we are one in the spirit and one in the Lord, let’s pray that our unity of Christly service may always be restored. From Cadet to General and every rank in between, let’s unite as one, march into the enemy’s camp and take back what they have stolen from us.

Will you dream with me that the mind of Christ might overtake the trials of the tainted one who works to delay our salvation, destroy our life and deceive our walk with God the Father?

I have a dream that compassion will overshadow the deep-rooted pain of ethic misunderstandings that has caused men, women, boys and girls to be blinded by the world. God’s compassion is as high as the heaven; his compassion is as deep as the sea; his compassion is for all people; his endless love and his faithful forgiveness are there for you and for me. 

Will you dream with me that love might be our theme song, grace our tune, and that our passion will unite our chorus as we sing all day long to our loving Lord?

I have a dream that this will be the day when all God’s people from every culture, every creed and every color will stand as one consecrated people, under God with spiritual liberation and supernatural impartiality for all. We then will be able to unite and join holy hands and proclaim the words, “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we’re free at last!”

Do you now have a dream?

 

Major K. Kendall Mathews is the regional coordinator for The Salvation Army.

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