My wife says she saw it in a dream. We had only been married a few months. It was the first, and one of the few times she has ever shared one of her dreams with me. She was in a pet shop the day before looking at several dogs, but could not decide which one was the right one. The next night she had a vivid dream of one of those puppies jumping into her arms and licking her face. That morning, she woke me up with great excitement in her voice. “It’s him! It’s him! I just had a dream about one of the puppies I saw in the pet store.” She went back to the pet shop and there he was…Alex the English Cocker Spaniel. Alex became part of our family.
Having grown up around some people who were a bit mystical, I am skeptical when hearing others talk about their visions. But my wife convinced me this was the dog she saw in her dream, and I had the privilege of sharing in that dream. Alex was the best dog anyone could ever have, except for when it thundered and he tore up our kitchen floor. Even our dreams that come true can come with challenges.
While some people will share in your dreams and celebrate them with you, other people may actually oppose your dreams. We can not control external challenges, but we can control the struggle within. Every garden begins with a dream. Dorothy Day once said, “We plant seeds that will flower as results in our lives, so best to remove the weeds of anger, avarice, envy and doubt, that peace and abundance may manifest for all.”
We dream of what our careers can become. We dream of what our family can be. We dream of achieving great things. But is it possible to find just as much fulfillment by sharing in someone else’s dreams? My mother used to have a recurring dream that she was a swimmer in the Olympics. The only problem is, my mom never learned to swim. Yet, mom taught all four of her children how to swim. It isn’t always healthy for parents to live vicariously through their children. But when mom would watch her children swim, she had a feeling that part of her dream had come true.
Years ago, my pastor started a program called Backpack 2 School. Each year we have the opportunity to bless children and families in our region to start the school year with a backpack, school supplies, a new pair of shoes, and a haircut. This was not my dream. It was my pastor’s dream. But every time I participate by sponsoring a student, it feels great sharing in his dream.
My father-in-law loved sponsoring children at St. Jude Children’s Hospital. You would think the children whose pictures were stuck by magnets on his refrigerator door were relatives. As his son-in-law, I certainly never had my picture on his refrigerator. It was the founder Danny Thomas who dreamed of creating a great medical facility like St. Judes. But my father-in-law shared in that dream by sponsoring children.
There is another, very humbling way to share in someone’s dream. That is by being a recipient of someone else’s help. My son was born with a club foot and had already experienced several surgeries before going to Shriners Hospital for Children. Thinking back to all of the love and care shown to my son still brings tears to my eyes. Thanks to the countless people who gave selflessly, the doctors and the nurses, many prayers, and everyone who shared in the vision of Shriners, today my son can walk!
Growing older, I try to think less of my dreams in life and more on what can be done to help others fulfill their dreams. Just because we can’t help everybody, doesn’t mean we can’t help somebody. What can you do today to help make someone else’s dream come true?
Rick Moore is Communications Pastor at Destiny Worship Center in Miramar Beach.