“I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.”
As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke these words in August of 1963, he pulled from the writings of the prophet Isaiah to speak of a vision for a new America. That vision, though profound, was nothing like the reality his 200,000 listeners faced in their daily lives.
This is the essence of vision, though. It has to be about speaking something into existence that isn’t already there. Because only as you speak something different from reality can you encourage listeners
- to believe for something greater,
- to engage their energies to work toward change,
- and to hope that this vision has a chance of becoming more than just vision.
As leaders, our job is similar to that of Dr. King’s. We have to seek God for the vision He desires for our organization, and then use our words and efforts to move toward that new reality.
We sit in a different America today, nearly 50 years later. An America that is much more like what Dr. King dreamed of than what he faced at that time. We aren’t all the way there yet, but his leadership and that of many others contributed to the change he was believing for.