Today we celebrate the life of Martin Luther King, a man with a dream. “Do we celebrate in vain?” I ask myself. On August 28, 1963 Dr. King, calling for an end to racism in America, delivered his unforgettable “I Have a Dream” speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to an estimated 250,000 people. Here are just a few excerpts:
- “I say to you today, my friends, that 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.”
- “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
- “I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and every mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plains and the crooked places will be made straight and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.”
Dr. King did not live to see his dream come true. Sadly, I believe that we have not yet seen King’s dream become a reality either.
That’s the thing about dreams. Sometimes they come true right away. There are dreams that take years and years of hard work to make happen and others never do come true.
CLASS Founder, Florence Littauer was a woman with a dream. From an early age Florene dreamed of escaping the three rooms behind the store and making something of herself. And she did. But as her life changed new dreams were birthed. God-given dreams. One of those dreams became what we know as CLASS, Christian Leaders Authors and Speakers Seminars.
Florence dreamed of training Christian men and women to speak clearly and effectively, to share the message God had given them in a way to transform lives. This dream took flight in the early 80’s when Florence held her first CLASS training. To date, Florence and her team have trained more than 30,000 men and women around the world. While Florence is no longer able to travel and train with the team, her dream lives on.
If Florence were writing this blog post she would ask you, “What is your dream? Do you even have a dream?” What would you tell her?
Through the years, I have had the opportunity to hear about the dreams of many CLASS attendees. As you can imagine some were achievable and others would require a lot of work. There were some that would definitely need the God touch, but no dream is impossible. Noted author and leadership expert, John Maxwell encourages people to “Dream BIG.” But he also reminds us that “dreams don’t work unless you do.”
2017 lies before us. Do you have a dream for this year? Are you willing to work hard and make sacrifices to make your dream a reality? Or maybe you need a new dream. Be brave ask God to give you one.
We have had wonderful role models. Martin Luther King gave his life for his dream. Florence Littauer committed her life to her dream. How about you?
Will you dare to dream?