Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech is how he is best remembered. Although he did not live to see his dream fully realized, many People of Color have attained their dreams because of his commitment to justice, and equality for all. He dared to champion the rights of the oppressed in the United States and abroad. His strategy of nonviolent protest was in stark contrast to the images of vicious attack dogs and police brutally beating women, men and children that we saw on the nightly news.
Martin Luther King Jr. became an early opponent to the injustice of the Vietnam War. As he grew into a greater understanding of God’s purpose for his life, he became more vocal about the hypocrisy of the United States’ role in Vietnam: “God didn’t call America to do what she is doing in the world now. God didn’t call America to engage in a senseless, unjust war as the war in Vietnam.”
MLK dared to speak his truth even as he knew that to do so would be to challenge the status quo. He dared to dream and to pursue his dream anyway, no matter the cost. He followed God’s purpose for his life which was to use his gifts to the fullest for the greater good. “The end of life is not to be happy, nor to achieve pleasure or to avoid pain, but to do the will of God, come what may.” He dared to dream and to live it.
The Bible tells the story of another dreamer whose name was Joseph. In Genesis 37 we learn that Joseph was loved by his father Jacob because he was the son of his old age. His older brothers hated Joseph for that reason. (Genesis 37:4) Nonetheless, Joseph loved his brothers so when he had two very powerful dreams, he shared the dreams with them for which they hated him even more. (v. 5)
As the story goes, the brothers were away tending to their father’s sheep. Jacob sends Joseph to check on his sons. When Joseph finds where his brothers are, they see him in the distance and say to each other “Behold this dreamer cometh” and plot to kill him. The idea was to kill the dreamer and thus his dreams but God had another plan. Joseph was not destroyed and he lived to fulfill his dreams eventually saving many lives including his father’s and brother’s lives.
What does MLK and Joseph and you have in common? Good question. The first two had dreams and they both had dream killers yet these two men of history had dreams that did not die with them. Their dreams lived on. What is your dream? Do you let others kill the dream or are you willing to pursue what God has for your life in spite of those around you who want to kill your dream? Are you willing to follow your dream and be complete in this life? Martin Luther King, Jr. put it this way:
“Use me, God. Show me how to take who I am, who I want to be, and what I can do, and use it for a purpose greater than myself.”
I look forward to helping you find God’s purpose for your life