Sharing a vision

In this season of gift giving, I recently received a wonderful gift. It did not cost any money and did not need to be wrapped. It was a very meaningful gift because it enabled me to view my surroundings with fresh eyes and an open mind.

Enjoying a casual conversation, I was asked about my dreams for Davis & Elkins College as we embark on a comprehensive Campus Master Plan for the future. I was encouraged to take away the barrier of cost and logistics and simply dream. Initially, I was taken aback by my inability to get beyond the usual barriers of dealing with the reality of budgets and daily challenges associated with running a small liberal arts institution. However, as I attempted to formulate my response, I found myself clearing my mind of the clutter and normal hurdles, and simply dreaming.

One of my favorite scripture quotations is from the Prophet Joel who shares God’s admonition for your old to “dream the dreams” and your young to “catch new visions.” These powerful prophetic words proved to be freeing as my mind began rushing to opportunities as I thought of the potential of new dreams for Davis & Elkins College.

I shared a vision. The vision is of a dynamic living-learning community, facilities to promote teaching and learning, ample resources to enable all regardless of financial need to enroll at this institution, and a College fully engaged with the Elkins-Randolph community. Suddenly, I experienced the power of a dream … that becomes a vision.

Stifling our dreams is antithetical to a fulfilled life. It is the great dreamers who inspire society and each of us as individuals. Gandhi, King, Lincoln, Mandella, Mother Theresa and many more dreamed great dreams and improved the lives of countless people. Dreamers change the course of history.

Just in the past few weeks I have encountered some powerful dreams from our students. I was recently approached by a student wanting to begin a fund to provide a D&E education to foster children. This dream and this story is powerful … and there is much more to come.

Foster children were also on the minds of a freshman seminar class as they elected to collect backpacks filled with needed supplies for foster children moving from home to home. These freshmen dreamed of providing tangible help and a sign of support to boys and girls who likely find dreaming painful or difficult. A sophomore recently collected more than $1,000 and engineered a food drive in her hometown so that some of God’s children would not experience hunger pangs and know that others care. Dreams motivate us to do things some think are impossible.

I often write about reflections along life’s journey, as the title of this column affirms. Our journeys can, and often are, impacted by the dreams we dream and the visions we catch. A place like D&E can inspire those dreams … and those visions … to become reality.

I am grateful for the recent gift I was given. As our dreams become visions, the future brightens!

The journey continues….