October 17, 2012
Affirmation: By pursuing my dreams, I help to make the world a better place.
The newspaper article was about an organization called Wish of a Lifetime. It explained it isn’t the only organization of its type. There is also The Twilight Wish Foundation, The Bucket List foundation, Forever Young Senior Wish Organization and S.H.O.W. (Seniors Having One Wish.) They all have the same goal; to grant a wish to an elderly person who is in desperate need of a morale booster. The article’s photo was of centenarian Miriam Krause. She was shown in the basket of a hot air balloon. She had requested a ride for her 100th birthday.
How do you feel about seeing dreams come true? One of my prayers for my children is for “true dreams.” My husband’s philosophy regarding a parent’s happiness is, “On any given day most parents are as happy as their unhappiest child.” When he first shared this with me our children were teenagers. Now, they are adults and that philosophy is as true today as it was then. Therefore, it is my best interest to pray that their dreams come true. Now, I have added my grandchildren. Actually, my daily prayers request God’s “favor and blessings” on everyone I pray for, those I pray for by name and those in the world “who most need Your mercy.”
Do you have a bucket list? In case you need help putting one together there are all sorts of web sites that have lists on them to help you along. One such site is Bucketlist.org. It actually offers “10,000 things to do before you die.” The first time I became familiar with the term, Bucket List, was from the 2007 movie by the same name starting Jack Nicholson & Morgan Freeman. As of this writing, Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman are still going strong and I would imagine there isn’t much on which they have missed out.
I was surprised that it’s fairly common for teenagers to have bucket lists. My granddaughter has one. So far, I think the fun for her is discovering those things she wants to add to the list. Certainly, I hope she has as long as Jack or Morgan to work on checking off her dreams.
Our dream list can be very different at different times, just like our prayer list. In times of peace, our dreams can be very specific, like a new house or a vacation or perhaps time to enjoy our favorite activity. When my husband and I went on a tour of the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville we were paired with another couple. The Ryman is the original home of the Grand Ole Opry. As we were escorted into Johnny Cash’s dressing room, I noticed the gentleman on the tour with us became very quiet. He almost looked like he couldn’t catch his breath. I looked at him with concern when his wife spoke, “This is his dream come true. He has always wanted to see the Ryman and where Johnny Cash had his dressing room.” I loved being in this place with this man when he realized one of his dreams.
In times of strife, our dream list can be more universal. Our dream may be for a world filled with peace, good health and safety for all. For me, the greatest dreams are those that will improve the world’s conditions. Of course, one cannot deny that when an individual makes his or her dream come true, the world does become a better place. But, when I see and read about those people who dream really really big and bring them into reality, I am awed. In the same newspaper issue that had the Wish of a Lifetime story, there was also a story about Hunger in the USA. It highlighted several organizations that glean food. “Volunteers descend on farm fields and reclaim some of the estimated 7 billion pounds of fresh produce left in the fields or sent to landfills each year, recovering it for the plates of millions who can’t afford it,” according to Chuck Raasch of USA Today. Many of the volunteers are school aged children. Gleaning is not something new. It was practiced as far back as biblical times. I like to imagine, however, that the modern creation of gleaning was someone’s dream. They saw the waste and decided to gather it up to feed the hungry.
My church, Saint Michael the Archangel in Cary has a sister parish in Honduras. Each year we contribute to the needs of the people in that parish. We provide books and clothing for children, build buildings, provide medicine and the ability to acquire clean water. A team of parishioners travel there each year to do whatever they can for the sister-parish. My daughter in law, Belen Baca Costa and her family have an organization that raises money for the poor of Ecuador so the children will have presents at Christmas time and those families, therefore, won’t be forced to beg on the streets (http://hotelcotopaxiecuador.com/NoBeggingProject/tabid/333/Default.aspx
) When I was at the John C Campbell Folk School, my teacher, Patricia Sprinkle, author and creative writing teacher, shared the story of her journey to India to teach creative writing to the “untouchables” and of her work in the Church of the Brethren with whom she had recently led a group to help children in Louisiana after hurricane Isaac. Thank God, these are just a tiny example of the good people who are doing by pursuing their dreams.
Of course, one need not look to or go to a foreign country to make a positive difference. Every day people walk out their front doors and head off to help others. Our volunteers can be found in hospitals, homeless shelters, food banks and schools to name just a few. I myself had the dream of creating a yoga retreat for breast cancer survivors and from that dream came the Pink Ribbon Yoga Retreat (.org)
Organizations that are born from the dream of someone who wants to make a difference in our world must also be part of God’s dream. End abuse, cure cancer, bring solace to suffering, food to the hungry, shelter to the homeless; the dreams of a higher order and each individual who steps out to add to the comfort, to bring “favor and blessings” to another are part of the vision our world so desperately needs.
There are so many dreamers in our world. What’s one of yours? So many dreamers have made their dreams reality. Whether it’s a trip to a far away place, a new charitable endeavor or a ride in a balloon, it’s important to pursue our dreams. Yes, each time a dream comes true, the world becomes a brighter place and isn’t that exactly what the world needs, more joy and more light?