Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Example (07/25/13)
TITLE: Chasing Dreams
By Janice Kelley
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May I introduce you to William, a college drop-out who, after several years in the regular workforce, resigned his secure job to chase a dream. “Dream” is not exactly accurate, for William has a LOT of dreams. And this fellow dreams big. For starters he hopes to put an end, once and for all, to the dread disease of polio. When asked how long that would take he thought it could be accomplished by 2018. Next on his list of “to-do’s” is the eradication of tuberculosis. “That will take a bit longer, perhaps six to seven years.” Another significant goal he has in his sights is to eliminate malaria, but there’s still lots to do to see this come true, perhaps fifteen to twenty years into the future. Still, he enthusiastically declares, “It is doable.”
He’s most concerned about the “bottom two billion” of earth’s residents, one-third of the earth’s population. Children under the age of five die one every twenty seconds around the world from preventable diseases. That’s a statistic that drives William to step up the pursuit of another dream: vaccination of EVERY child, from the sizzling heat of the African desert to the disease-laden banks of the Ganges River to the remote, steamy jungle of South America and every other hard-to-get-to location on earth.
Dream. There are several definitions related to this subject, one of which is: an idle hope, an idea that is impractical or unlikely ever to be realized. Perhaps vaccine for every child on earth would fall into that category. After all, how will the vaccine be kept cold and viable long enough to reach the needy children? William did not rest until a new type of thermos was invented to maintain a proper temperature for traveling vaccine for a period of fifty days - that‘s FIFTY days. The thermos is compact, easily transported and keeps its contents icy cold with just one small batch of ice - that‘s ONE batch of ice. William sees the venture of disease-proofing every child as “doable,” too.
Many dreams never get beyond the “dreaming” stage. In fact, many people dream their lives away, This is not so with William. Actually, William is better known as Bill….Bill Gates, the wealthiest man in the world. His wealth allows him to put legs to his dreams. He and his wife, Melinda, take the responsibility of their wealth very seriously. Yes, Bill was a college drop-out and yes, after heading the Microsoft Corporation for years he resigned to donate full time to giving away his wealth. He is often criticized for where he spends his money, the projects he gives it to. Perhaps we should consider that Bill and Melinda Gates, like Ananias and Sapphira of old, could keep ALL their money for themselves, but the Gates have chosen to heed a different scripture: “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” In fact, it was this very scripture that Bill’s mother quoted to Melinda in a letter prior to their marriage in 1994.
Bill, asked about his parents, gave this insightful statement: “In my parents I saw a model where they were really always communicating, doing things together. They were really kind of a team. I wanted some of that magic myself.” Melinda confirms that she and Bill do a lot of talking and making decisions together.
Bill refers to his dad as his “hero” and went on to describe William, Sr. as a man of integrity with a humble approach to things. “He is calm and wise in his decisions. It’s just a huge influence to always want to live up to a great example.”
May I suggest that Bill Gates, the Microsoft tycoon, is a man who sets a great example as well. We may not all have wealth in dollars and cents, but we are all wealthy, rich in many ways. Like Bill we can share the wealth we have, whether it is time, talent, money, thoughtfulness, kind deeds or words. We can do it humbly, realizing God has blessed us beyond measure and we can be a blessing to others. We can live day by day knowing that to whom much is given, much is required. We might even chase a few dreams of our own.
Luke 12:48 NIV 1978 version
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