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McFarland: The dream that could be….



I watched a great movie last week, entitled McFarland.  It is based on the true story of a high school cross country team in California at McFarland High School.  The movie tells of the struggle of a high school football coach to redefine his career in coaching and in that redefining he finds himself again a coach.  Kevin Costner, of course, makes his character come to life and and the movie takes us through the inception and continued development of the cross country team at McFarland High School.  McFarland school has long since been considered a high school without much hope for improvement and is written off as a school that cannot succeed in much of anything.  But then the dream…   Costner’s character suddenly finds a new sport called cross country starting in high schools in California and births a cross country team made up of young men who are sons of migrant workers in that area.  In fact, the population of the town is known as a location to be the home of “pickers” who are mostly mexican.  The cultural divide between Costner’s character and the members of his cross country team is wide, but over time narrows as Costner’s rediscovers what it takes to coach anyone.  The dream he has for the boys he coaches comes to fruition as the team goes on to win the first ever state championship in cross country in California.  The dream is realized…..

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Senior, was a doctor. As such he was very interested in the use of ether. In order to know how his patients felt under its influence, he once had a dose administered to himself. As he was going under, in a dreamy state, a profound thought came to him. He believed that he had suddenly grasped the key to all the mysteries of the universe. When he regained consciousness, however, he was unable to remember what the insight was. Because of the great importance this thought would be to mankind, Holmes arranged to have himself given either again. This time he had a stenographer present to take down the great thought. The either was administered, and sure enough, just before passing out the insight reappeared. He mumbled the words, the stenographer took them down, and he went to sleep confident in the knowledge that he had succeeded. Upon awakening, he turned eagerly to the stenographer and asked her to read what he had uttered. This is what she read: “The entire universe is permeated with a strong odor of turpentine.” 

Some times dreams are not all they are propped up to be.  But dreams are still important.  We dream, but then what happens?  We wake up.   J.M. Power said, “The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.”  Acts 2:17 says  “in the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people.  Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.”  Costner’s character in the movie McFarland was in the latter years of his coaching career, but he was able to find a way to coach in an area, a sport, and a society that he didn’t understand.  He had a dream and went to work to see it happen.  There is no doubt that most Christians believe these are the “last days” and that the Lord will return soon.  I agree.  So the Acts 2 scripture above is not outdated, it is current and relevant.  But where are the prophecies, where are the visions, where are the dreams?  All are locked in a sleep cycle that needs to wake up each of us to participate in that part we are made for.  

T.E. Lawrence once said, “All men dream but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds awake to the day to find it was all vanity. But the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for the many act out their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible…”

Can it be true?  Can day dreaming be a good thing?  Apparently so.  The definition of the word dream is-a series of thoughts, images, and sensations occurring in a person’s mind 

during sleep.  The dream for me is what could be if I would apply myself to something and see it through.  You first see the dream, then put yourself in a position to affect the dream, and then see it come to pass.  That is the dream that could be…  Could be if we applied ourselves to it and worked to make it happen.  The first thing that drains the life out of a dream is the lack of hope.  For believers, hope is our necessary ingredient for everything we do.  Romans 5:3-5 says, 


The pilgrimage continues….

David Warren

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