As I continued my journey in listening to God’s voice, I began to realize that prayer is often inspired by our dreams. A God-given dream is so important that without vision, people often perish (Proverbs 29:18). Mothers raising their children in what some call “at risk” neighborhoods know that vision, with its sense of focus and direction, can divert their children from drugs, gangs, and prison. Not a luxury, for them, dreams often mean survival.
My young friend Dominique was just ten when some gang members befriended him. “I was kind of a mascot,” as he puts it. But gang mascots eventually become gang members, and he was headed for trouble. One day, Dominique discovered on online chess game. He got the hang of it and became good—really good. Before too long, he was “busy” when gang members called. Dominique was way too busy finding his purpose to run with gangs.
By the time he was in high school, Dominique had become the top chess player in the state of North Carolina’s Scholastic Chess Association. In his application to the Christian college he now attends, Dominique wrote: “By getting closer to the One who allowed me this chance, and continuing with the plan that we dreamed up together when I was a young child, I feel that I will be able to help someone else and make a lasting impact.” For Dominique, that “impact” includes the dream of becoming a doctor.
Though he didn’t attend church, Dominique said that as a small child, he had a sense of God’s destiny and a mysterious awareness of His calling through those childhood dreams of playing chess. And when he heard a clear presentation of the Gospel his first semester in college, this vibrant young man accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and savior. Dominique’s earthly dreams had eternal implications that went far beyond the mastery of chess. Mother Teresa put it this way: Tread gently around the dreams of a child. You might be treading on the dreams of God.