Never Give Up Your Dream
I say to you today, my friends….even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”
…This will be the day, this will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning: “My country, ‘tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my father’s died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring!”
Excerpts of Martin Luther King, Jr from his speech at the March on Washington, August 28, 1963
It is probably true of all of us that at different times during our lives we have had different dreams we wanted to see come to pass. I wanted to be a cowboy like Roy Rogers. I did live on a farm and later we did have a horse, but that dream dissolved as another one came around.
I never gave a thought about going to Africa, yet, one day as a 9 or 10 year-old I picked up a book about David Livingstone and said to myself, “I would like to go there someday.” Years later, as I was actually preparing to go to Ecuador, I was given the opportunity to be part of an 18-man task force to help train and place young teachers in the former Belgian Congo. I ended up in the same area in which David Livingstone had served and explored.
Then there was the dream of marrying the right girl. Amazingly, I saw her face several times in actual night-time dreams. When I actually met her, I knew right away she was to be my wife. We both left for different sides of the world, but four years later our dreams were fulfilled and we have had a wonderful marriage for 50 years.
As I was growing up my father always told me that God had a great purpose for my life. That was an amazing thought, since the doctors had told my parents that I would die before I was 6 years old due to a series of diseases and severe asthma. However, God healed me when I was 6 years old. I am thankful to Dad for instilling into me the attitude to never quit, just because things got difficult.
Some of us are old enough to remember Sir Winston Churchill and his immortal speech, in which he commanded forcefully to, “Never, never give up!” I don’t think he ever got beyond those words and he finally sat down as the students of an American university refused to stop their standing applause. Those four words would not have meant much, had he not persevered against all odds to be the bulldog of determination against the spread of Nazism. He never gave up, though his life was always in danger. Even his countrymen took years to finally elect him as Prime Minister of Great Britain and the commander in chief of the British armed forces.
It was Abraham Lincoln who said, “Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.” At the right time Lincoln’s dream was to be president of the United States, but it didn’t start there. Other dreams and determined overcoming actions came first. His character seemed flawless, though poor business decisions and hard breaks would have caused less committed men to a point of accepting mediocrity. He was respectfully regarded as “Honest Abe” by friends and foes alike. Finally, he became the sixteenth president of the United States of America during perhaps the most difficult time our young nation had experienced.
Like Lincoln, once God gives us even an inkling of a dream, we would do well to follow its course and see to its unfolding until the next phase of the dream is presented. Never give up on your dream. Others might depend greatly on it, because a dream that becomes an honorable destiny is never wasted. Never Give Up! Your breakthrough can be right around the corner.