Friday, February 1, 2013

Need to Dream Together

"No small dreams; they do not move hearts." With these words from Goethe, the columnist on the opinion page of the Catholic Times gives us his thoughts on the implications of this kind of thinking.  The priest-columnist heard similar words in Chicago in connection with plans for a construction project. But Goethe, the columnist reminds us, did not  limit his dreams to material things.

We are familiar, he says, with the great plans of Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan to expand their empires, and the great construction feats of the pyramids and the great wall of China. These were not dreams of the ordinary person. And today, there are many who want to solve our problems with big dreams that will continue on after death.

These dreams all require determination, a great deal of support and financial backing, and a plan to silence the opposition. Once begun, the end has to be reached. However, big dreams usually encounter great problems, and in opposing the critics, dialogue is squashed and many are alienated, losing their own dreams.

In the story of Babel, people came together to build a tower to the heavens. Vying with God, wanting to be free of the will of God, they were ultimately unsuccessful. But dreaming big is a great motivator. Coming together is a good and dreaming is a good but forgetting the will of God is not a good. But what kind of dreams, the columnist asks, should we be dreaming?

He wants us dreaming together. When we dream together, great things happen. The vision of Jesus for God's reign was of this type. Like the small mustard seed that becomes a tree or the yeast that becomes bread, the reign of God comes not with competition but with cooperation and with faith.  With  love and patience, our dreaming together will turn into doing great things together.

We are faced with great problems and  those that want to solve them with big dreams, there is a need to be hesitant. We need to trust one another, rely on each other, think deeply on what is to be done, and dream together.

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