By Pastor Tom Davidson
The world is made up of two kinds of people; the dreamers and the detractors. Dreamers look at the world as it is, and see new possibilities. Detractors look at the world and see nothing but disaster. Dreamers look at the world as it is and know it can be better. Detractors look at that very same world and are weary of it, believing that nothing can ever be different. We’re either dreamers or detractors. Dreamers look at their own lives and imagine what they could become. Detractors count their 70 plus years and wonder if they can manage the boredom until it’s all over. As for God, God uses both dreamers and detractors. God sends dreamers into the toughest, most dangerous, most unyielding spots, where they often suffer and get hurt. And God, in His wisdom, sends detractors to places of peace and quiet, for a while; but only for a while. For it always works out that the detractors need the dreamers to rescue them, not the other way around. The detractors, the negative, nay-saying, play it safe, take no risks, kinds of people, they’re the ones who in the end need the help of the risk-takers and the dreamers.
Everything worth doing begins as a dream in someone’s heart. And if to ordinary folks that dream seems immature, if that dream seems misdirected, if the more cautious of us wish the dreamers would be just a little less enthusiastic, well, I guess that’s just the price dreamers have to pay. Everything worth doing begins as a dream in someone’s heart; and Joseph dreamed that he would lead his brothers. He had a vision of his father, his mother and all of his eleven brothers acknowledging his ability. And the Bible minces no words when it says that “They hated him and could not speak peaceably of him.” You see, the world is afraid of dreamers and visionaries. The detractors of this world are profoundly threatened by folks who approach life with drive and ambition. The detractors of this world are stuck in their own tedious everydayness, and they can’t stand those who want to go somewhere and be somebody. Detractors don’t care for “uppity” people! So it’s no surprise that when Joseph’s brothers have finally had their fill of all his youthful visions, they plan to kill him. “They said to one another, “Here comes this dreamer. Come now, let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits.” The world is afraid of dreamers and would love to squash them.
Dreamers see Egypt and ask, “Why.” Detractors shrug their shoulders and whine, “Just because that’s the way it is.” Dreamers see a need and ask, “Why not?” but detractors cry out, “I’m scared,” not yet hearing Joseph’s word, “Do not be distressed or frightened.” Dreamers look at crime and violence, poverty and ignorance, and see that God has given them leadership. Detractors see these things and hope they’ll go away, forgetting that there’ll always be an Egypt. Dreamers feel the hurts of humanity all around them, and in those hurts; hear God’s call. Detractors think of those hurts as a duty and burden at best, more likely as somebody else’s problem. Egypt is over there, out there; they haven’t seen that Egypt is right here, right now.
Dreamers say now, detractors say tomorrow. Dreamers sing to the Lord a new song, detractors remind us that their fathers have been churchmen for a hundred years or so, and to every new proposal they’ve always answered, “No.” Dreamers expect great things from God and attempt great things for God. Detractors, bless their souls, are seized in the seven last words of the church, “We’ve never done it that way before.” Dreamers find ideas and pursue them. Detractors think they cost too much. Dreamers plan the work and work the plan; detractors tell us; been there, done that. But God loves and has a plan for both the dreamers and the detractors. I tell you, there’ll always be an Egypt. There’ll always be a hurt to heal and a pain to soften. There’ll always be a mind to teach and a child to guide. There’ll always be a soul to win and a nation to lead. There’ll always be an Egypt, and God sends us there to preserve life.