The earliest founders of America had a dream for their children, their grandchildren, and for you and me. In 1776, five men were appointed to draft the Declaration of Independence setting forth this dream. They wrote, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights -- that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
Almost 200 years later, Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream of freedom, too. Martin Luther King Jr. was many things to many people. Foremost, he was a Daddy with four children. In his 1963 March on Washington Speech, he said, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
I am another Dad with a dream for my children. What about you? Do you have dreams for your children, too?
For all my teasing, I am not dreaming of a bigger, newer sailboat with a roller furling jib, wheel steering, a pressurized water system, and things like this. I am not dreaming about a sailboat. I dream about my children. I dream about their freedom. I dream about their hopes. I dream about their future. I am a Dad with a dream.
I dream for my children to have a deep understanding that their freedom does not come at the expense of someone else’s freedom; nor does their hope come at the expense of someone else’s hope. I dream for my children to be happy. I also want them to assist others in their happiness, too. My children’s freedom is not just about them. My children’s freedom comes in the context of community, in the context of other people, with an understanding that we are all free together.
For me, freedom is not the right of my children to do whatever they want whenever they want. For me, my children’s freedom is the power and ability to do what is right and to do what they ought. I want my children to know that when their freedom or right encroaches upon the freedom and right of someone else then they are no longer free. Then they are slaves who are oppressed by their own selfish, self – centered and reckless attitudes that will, in time, erode and destroy our community and world.
I believe my children’s dream begins with me -- without blame of others, complaint, or excuses. My children’s freedom begins in a home that is free of anxiety and anger, blame and complaint. My children’s freedom begins with me and an understanding that we are all equal and these rights belong in balance and to all of us, not just a few, or some, or the elite.
This is my dream and it begins with me. But a roller furling jib would be nice, too!
Jeff Sippy, a Dad-In-Training, is the father of three young men and the husband of Cindy. He enjoys sailing every chance that he gets. He is the senior pastor at Redeemer Lutheran in Springfield, MO and can be reached for question or comment at firstname.lastname@example.org