You know how when you listen to a song and a memory of years past comes to mind? This morning during my quiet time I listened to an old classic by Fred Hammond, Your Steps Are Ordered and immediately I was transported back to my freshman year. As a matter of fact, sitting here now listening to the rest of the album I can see myself in Longstreet (my freshman dorm on Emory’s campus…RIP Longstreet…your days ended too soon). Yusef (my college roommate and best man in my wedding) has his mess of a desk next to mine (sorry man but you were messy!). It’s early afternoon/late evening and as usual, I’m done with studying for the day (I was never a late nighter…at least a late night studier). Outside our huge window sits the volleyball courts where there’s a bit of action, but not much. Next door to our room on the entry floor was the main lobby, usually a hustle of activity, but for now just the quiet before the storm. Our dorm room was my temple, where I spent most of my time hanging out with friends (for some reason our room was a hub…probably because we had food and a playstation). It was also the place where I spent most of my time dreaming about the future.
Anyone who knows me understands that I’m a dreamer, so it’s no surprise that I spent a significant portion of my formative years dreaming. One of my favorite new quotes is, All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible (T.E. Lawrence). I was one of those day dreamers. I still am.
For much of my life I’ve set out to follow my dreams, and look where it’s led me. Sitting in that college dorm (and even before then as an adolescent), my number one dream was to be a husband and a father. I know, it may be strange to hear a dude talking about dreaming to become a husband and a father, but you have to understand my roots to appreciate my fruit. From where I sat as a child, I saw broken marriages, broken homes, broken families…and I wondered if this was even possible. So I had little choice but to dream.
That’s what makes the gift of a dream so amazing to me. I believe it’s a God given gift, one that points us towards our destiny in a gentle yet tugging way. I hope that my children grow up as daydreamers, willing to follow their dreams and act on them in the broad daylight. I pray that they find friends like I’ve found who can bear witness to the conception, birth, and evolution of their dreams. And I pray that they find partners who they can dream with, because that has made all the difference in my life. You know who else was sitting in that dorm room dreaming with me all those evenings? The brilliant woman who would later become my wife. Dreams are much more fun when you have someone you can dream with.