Read Joel 2:28-32.
“I will pour out my Spirit on all people. . . . Your old men will dream dreams” (v. 28).
What in the world had happened to his dreams? In a gloomy, deserted bar on a Sunday morning, a 25-year-old man, “a good-looking fellow with an athletic build and empty eyes,” went through the meaningless motions of cleaning up the joint. Only a few hours before, the place had been packed and boisterous. Mostly young people -- many of them his age -- had met friends and swapped stories and told lies. Many of them had good jobs and at least somewhat promising careers.
And here he was, “crawl[ing] on his hands and knees, wiping at something sticky on the carpet” and picking up the remains of snack nuts ground into that same carpet. His life had been reduced to “clean[ing] up the debris of other people’s enjoyment.”
Oh, he had once had dreams. In high school, he had been so cocky and so sure of himself that when his head coach asked him if he believed in God, he replied, “I don’t know if I believe in God, but I know one thing. I sure believe in football.”
But his life peaked in high school. After that, only disappointed hopes and shattered dreams followed. Alone that morning, his life as empty as the beer cans in the trash he had to take out, he recalled a story he had often heard about another cocky young man. That guy had hit the road with some big plans and glorious dreams only to spend all his money and burn out young. He finally “came to the end of himself,” feeding pigs a long way from anybody who loved him. So he went home.
In the bar that Sunday morning, the prodigal with his broken dreams decided it was time, too, for him to go home, at least meta-phorically. So he got to his feet, tossed his rag away, and walked out. Somehow, he would get back into football.
That young man was Mark Richt.
We all have particular dreams. Perhaps to make a fortune, coach a big-time college football team, write the great American novel, start up a business, or find the perfect spouse. More likely than not, though, we gradually lose our hold on those dreams. They slip away from us as we surrender them to the reality and the pressures of everyday living. But we also have general dreams. For world peace. For an end to hunger. That no child should ever again be afraid. These dreams we hold onto doggedly as if something inside us tells us that even though the world gets itself into a bigger mess every year, one day everything will be all right.
That’s because it will be. God has promised a time when his spirit will rule the world. Jesus spoke of a time when he will return to claim his kingdom. In that day, our dreams of peace and plenty and the banishment of hate and want will be reality.
Our dreams based on God’s promises will come true.
To achieve in sports you first have to have a dream, and then you must act on that dream.-- Speed skater Dianne Holum
Dreams based on God’s promises will come true.