By John Ed Mathison
Judith Toensing is a sixth grade teacher in Yuma, Arizona. She is one of those teachers – and there are many – that teach more than just the subject assigned to them. They teach students to dream. They inspire students to think about doing things that no one ever thought they could do.
Judith did this for Christin Gilmer in 1997 as she graduated from the sixth grade. On her report card Toensing wrote, “It has been a joy to have you in class. Keep up the good work! Invite me to your Harvard graduation!” Christin did exactly that in June 2018 when she graduated from Harvard with a Doctorate of Public Health!
Everybody can make a difference in somebody’s life – help them see what they can be. Gilmer said, “It meant so much to me to know that outside of my mom, someone believed in my dreams and my ability to accomplish them.”
The people in the administration at Harvard learned about that sixth grade dream that Judith put in the mind of Christin, and Dean Michelle Williams sent a note thanking Toensing for all of her “immeasurably important” work. She invited Judith to Christian’s Harvard graduation – and said that Harvard would pay for all of her expenses!
There’s no limit to what can happen in the life of a person when someone helps them to dream God’s dream. Thank God for school teachers, coaches, neighbors, preachers, friends, etc. who help people dream big. God uses people to help create dreams that redefine what is possible!
President John F. Kennedy announced one day that before the end of the decade of the 60s the United States would put a man on the moon. People thought that was absurd and impossible. The President created a picture in the minds of the American people of what could be.
His vision was received by a high school student Neil Armstrong. The night Armstrong graduated from high school, he took his science teacher to the front porch of the gymnasium, put his arm around his shoulder, looked up at the moon, and said, “Teach, some day I’m going to put a foot on that moon.”
I remember calling off church on a Sunday night in July 1969 so that we could all watch that historic moment when Armstrong touched the moon.
Armstrong did touch the moon in 1969, but that’s not when he really touched the moon. He really touched the moon the night that somebody placed in his mind the possibility of his doing it. He saw it! Putting a foot on the moon was a part of the journey that had started when he saw it in his mind.
The Prophet Joel said that God wants our “old men to dream dreams and young men to see visions.” (Joel 2:28) God put a vision in the mind of Moses that he should lead the people of Israel to the Promised Land. Everybody thought he was crazy, but he was driven by that dream – and it came true!
God is putting visions in the minds of people today. A few minutes invested to help someone see God’s vision can pay dividends for a lifetime. (Tweet that!)
Have you attended a graduation lately?