In 39 years of life, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., obtained a Bachelors of Arts from Morehouse College, a Bachelors of Divinity from Crozer Theological Seminar and a Ph.D from Boston University. He married Coretta Scott King, helping her raise four children, won a Nobel Peace Prize and at the same time he led the Civil Rights Movement. He was stabbed, spit on, and imprisoned. And although he stood in the room and watched as President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights bill, he never lived to see the results. There is no question about it, Dr. King’s dream ruled everything around him and amongst the thousands of lessons we can learn from his life and legacy, I just want to focus on one thing: D.R.E.A.M.
Do you really want what you are dreaming about? Are you willing to die for it? Cry for it? Make sacrifices for it? Does it wake you up in the morning and does your dream lull you to sleep at night? Can you handle being persecuted for it? Can you trust your family with it? Does your spouse have your back? Dr. King’s dream cost him everything. Do you really want it that bad?
Recognize early that your dream takes more than you. You need people that you don’t even know exist. You need the people that hurt you. You need a team of people that are smarter, wiser, and better than you. These people will get very little credit and they are willing to help you because they believe in you and your dream. You may see it, but they will achieve it. Recognize early that your dream takes more than you.
Engage your enemy while you live out your dream. You will always have someone on the inside that really belongs on the outside. Don’t let that throw you off your course. Many people mess up because they focus on eliminating their enemies and in the meantime they lose sight of their dreams. Dr. King had plenty of enemies but he was fully aware that the greatest enemy to his dream was not another person. The greatest enemy to his dream was him. Every past success and failure would fight to gain and control his attention and by staying focused on the dream, he was able to keep moving. Don’t worry about who is against you. Engage your enemy while you live out your dream.
Assess your plans with God’s plans. Dr. King was being educated to take over his father’s ministry in Atlanta, Georgia, but God had called him to minister to the world. His father’s guidance was trumped by God’s guidance. Who would imagine that the most powerful man in the political world in the United States would be a young Southern Baptist preacher that “hooped” on Sundays and marched on Mondays. Don’t be surprised if your plans change mid-way. God is never wrong. Assess your plans with God’s plans.
Make sure you understand, your dream is not about you. Your dream is bigger than you could ever imagine. What you think you see is only the tip of the iceberg. Generations before you dreamed the same dream but they played a different role. Dr. King’s father encouraged his son’s dream by making him do field work. Dr. King’s grandfather was a sharecropper and Rev. King Sr. though it would be good for Dr. King Jr. to experience the hard labor of farm work. I can guarantee that Dr. King’s grandfather dreamed beyond those fields and I can guarantee that Rev. King Sr. dreamed beyond Jim Crow, but it would be Dr. King Jr. that would carry that dream to reality. Since the beginning of your family line someone has been dreaming. Make sure you understand, your dream is not about you.