MLK Day – What Is Your Dream?

Today we celebrate and honor the life and impact that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had on our nation and around the world. While this day is officially set to mark Dr. King’s birthday, it is more about honoring the progress he brought to racial equality, the impact he made in our world, and to inspire us to keep moving forward in equality for all people.

Where did Dr. King’s dream come from? The Sunday School answer is “Jesus,” right? (If ever in doubt, answer Jesus.) I’m not talking about that. It should be clear to all of us that God is for racial equality and the end of racism. But again, I’m not talking about that. 

Why was Dr. King so focused, so fueled, so sure of his dream that he would be willing to face the criticism and attack that he did for his position? Why was Dr. King willing to pay the ultimate price for his dream? Because his dream was born in the same place yours can be as well.

So many people struggle to know what they are “called” to do. We see people like Dr. King, and we think, “Man, I would love to be so certain about God’s dream and calling for my life.” And you can. The following is not original to me, and I don’t know who to give credit for it, but it helps me communicate to people where to find your “dream” in life. 

To know your dream, you need to answer these three questions:

  1. What makes me sad?
  2. What makes me mad?
  3. What makes me glad?

It’s in your answer to those questions that you will most likely find your dream; that thing worth pursuing with your life. My calling, specifically to start Element Church, was born out of my answers to those three questions:

1. It breaks my heart to see people live outside of the life-giving power of Jesus in our communities. Jesus is the only way to receive life, and right in our towns, some people don’t know the way to eternal life. That fuels me. It breaks my heart.

2. It infuriates me that there are Christians, churches, and pastors who think that the community exists for them and not them for the community. When we started Element Church, I committed that we would be for our community through generosity, serving, and an open door. People may not agree with what we believe. Still, our prayer is that they wouldn’t be able to argue about the benefit we bring to our community.

3. Nothing makes me happier than to see people take their next steps in Jesus. Nothing. Whether it’s the first step of salvation, the step of baptism, or the many other steps that people make in their walk with Christ. It keeps me going in ministry. When someone shares a story of victory, a testimony of God’s grace, or how a message, song, or event allowed God to invade their life, it puts a smile on my face and brings joy to my heart.

If you’ve never watched the entire “I have a dream” speech, you need to. We still have such a long way to go, but any progress we make as a nation in racial equality and treatment of people of color, Dr. King is a part of that.  

I’m thankful for men and women like him throughout history that knew what their dream was and pursued it with all their heart. Sadly, he went on to pay the ultimate price for his dream. May we all live in such a way today that makes his sacrifice worth it. 

As you watch the speech, you’ll hear his answers to the questions you need to answer: What makes me sad? What makes me mad? What makes me glad? It’s there, along with the Spirit of God, Dr. King discovered, spoke for, and lived out his dream. It’s there you’ll find your dream as well. 

Jeff Maness
I am a follower of Jesus first, husband to a beautiful wife, father to four amazing children, lead pastor of Element Church in Cheyenne, WY, and blogger of all things life.

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