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May 11, 2009

Ignoring Life’s Dream Breakers

One of the principles of staying young has to do with clinging to your dreams. Dr. Forrest never lost sight of this fact. He wrote, “What dreams I dreamed for the school.” This statement was included in Achieving The Impossible with God, the book he wrote with the help of Lorrene Moothart in 1956. His dreams were as bright for Toccoa Falls then as they had been fifty years earlier. The school that began with a handful of students in 1907 had grown to be a respected college with hundreds attending classes and many more serving the Lord around the world.

Did he encounter “dream breakers” along the way? Absolutely. In fact, there were many. First on the list was his father, who thought he had lost his mind by going into the ministry. It was years before Richard Forrest, Sr., acknowledged that his son had done the right thing and that God was using his efforts. Second, an elderly pastor, who Dr. Forrest admired greatly, admonished him not to go into the ministry because he “could not preach.” If ever there was an occasion for dreams to be shattered, surely this was it.

Yet, when he weighed man’s words against God’s promises, there was no comparison. He simply could not give up. The Lord had given him a dream, and He could not dismiss it. Not only did Richard go on to preach in some of the most sought after pulpits in the country, he co-founded a school were young people were taught how to preach the gospel.

These are just two examples of “dream breakers.” There are many more. On at least one occasion the enemy tempted him to get a secular job. He happened to walk up on his wife while she was going through a barrel of old donated clothes looking for something she could rework and wear. This hurt him deeply because he felt as though he could not properly take care of her. Yet, he also was wearing clothes that came from the same barrel of clothing. The lack of money, the threat of some bank note coming due, and the stress of overseeing a college that had to be fully functional and mostly independent all seemed overwhelming at times. But the flame and the passion to see his dreams through to the end never dimmed.

What dream has God placed within your heart? Perhaps, it is one to stay the course and not abandon His plan. You may be tempted to think, “My work is unimportant. Anyone could do this.” But it’s not true. Dr. Forrest could have looked at Toccoa Falls College and compared it with much larger institutions and become discouraged, but he didn’t. He had a fixed focus on Christ. He was not interested in having the most or the largest. He only cared about faithfully doing what God called him to do.

If you feel tempted to abandon your dreams, don’t do it. Take time to study the lives of men like Moses, Joseph, David, and others, who refused to give up. In fact, pick up a copy of Achieving The Impossible and read the story about how one man never let go of his dreams. You can do the same when you set your heart on doing only what God has given you to do.

Taken from the online devotional A Present Peace © 2009