D.R.E.A.M.

Everyone’s had those moments.   A thought enters your head, seemingly from nowhere; and the creative force propels it forward to consciousness.  You grab a pen, hoping to capture the inventive energy on paper.  The words spill out as a roaring waterfall, tumbling without form, moving with depth, speed, and texture.  Although a struggle, you capture the artistic burst of inspiration.  There it is.  While still in raw form, you have the clear outlines of the poem, song, story, or picture to draw.  The thought didn’t escape.  With comic relief or resignation, your mind catches up to the moment, and you ask the obvious question, “where did that come from?”   

Whether from a Walter Mitty’s absent-minded distraction in broad daylight, or distilled from a morning’s dream, these shadowy shapes of sublime thought emerge for harvest by the artist, inventor, author, engineer, philosopher, or whatever.  The initial response is fear, and dismissiveness.  How could so grand of an idea be worthy or fruitful under my guardianship?  As well spoken by Gail Devers, American retired track and field athlete and three-time Olympic champion for the United States Olympic Team, “Keep your dreams alive.  Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication.  Remember all things are possible for those who believe.”

Dreams have been recorded from the earliest of times. In the Bible’s book of Matthew (1:20 and 2:13), it’s recorded that Joseph would have divorced Mary when he found out she was pregnant, but God sent an angel to him in a dream, convincing him that the pregnancy was of God. Joseph went ahead with the marriage. After Jesus was born, God sent two more dreams, one to tell Joseph to take his family to Egypt so Herod could not kill Jesus and another to tell him Herod was dead and that he could return home.  Throughout the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, men and women have been inspired to act boldly through their dreams.  God’s divine authority in the creation of Earth, Heaven, and all the Universe, includes the power to direct dreams; a transformative communication system surpassing the most earnestly designed smartphone in the 21st Century. 

Even the mysteries of an intuitive mind can bring forth evidence that a thought formed with force of will can shape the future.  Consider a kid running around with an 8 mm camera, shooting homemade movies of wrecks of his Lionel train set.  Dropping out of high school in his sophomore year, he continued his passion to make movies; even making small change charging his friends to watch them in his basement.  He eventually graduated from high school.  Pursuing his ability to tell stories through an 8mm camera, he tried to follow the traditional educational path of film-making school, but was denied admission.  It was his unrelenting dream and drive that led him to Universal Studios in 1965.  He serendipitously met an editorial executive that helped him to hang out with writers and directors on the film lots.  After ten years of on-the-job-training, Steven Spielberg’s dream as a film director emerged at 28 years old with the record breaking movie, Jaws.       

Many people in diverse careers face hardships in pursuit of their dream.  It’s that will to not give up on their dream that hurdles tough times and disappointments.  Randy Pausch, an American professor of computer science, human–computer interaction and design at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, put it this way.  “The brick walls are there for a reason.   The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.” 

When I entered the proverbial detour on April 16, 1976, I wasn’t certain I would ever get back to the main road of life again.  In an intersection on a city road in San Diego, a pick-up truck failed to yield, making a left turn directly in my motorcycle’s path.  In that surreal moment, I had just enough time to recognize destiny.  I was about to die.  But, it wasn’t my time.  God had dreams for me to realize.  Assimilating my athletic and college preparatory studies in Health, Physical Education, and Recreation, my rehabilitation was followed by a 33 year federal career serving disabled service men and women in the Department of Veterans Affairs.  Through the diverse and innovative accomplishments that mark a successful career in the midst of overcoming adversity, a core principle was practiced to guide spiritual, mind, and body discipline:  D.R.E.A.M.  

First, DARE yourself when great and worthy visions (ideas) pop into your head.  God encourages through His spiritual conversations with us. 

Second, RESPOND to the vision with conviction, belief and expectation that God will supply whatever’s required. 

Third, ENVELOPE yourself with people to build a team that shares the vision and willing to shape and mold it.  God loves coaching His teams. 

Fourth, ACTION is taken to develop the team's plan to propel the vision.  God’s our master planner. 

Five, MANAGE the team's work along a path for success.  God prospers charity.

Now in retirement, I’ve started a new chapter to advance the practice of D.R.E.A.MLovesIntention’s mission is to inspire generous, kind and compassionate volunteer service in communities.  Cultivating a yielding of the heart’s goodness to share time, talents, and resources to help buoy and heal people in their broken places.   

Be a risk-taker, respond to your dreams, and strive for excellence through your brazen audacity. God's got your back.