Friday, April 1, 2011


We all have a dream...whether we realize it or not. Sometimes it is a dream which has been beaten down and is on its last breath. Other times it is a dream just beginning to be birthed. The most awesome of dreams are those which have matured to a point where they can be vibrantly pursued. 

What is my dream? Of course, I've had many small goals, visions or targets but what is the underlying dream which pushes me forward? 

My forefathers had a dream. John Tilley came over on the Mayflower with a dream. I'm not exactly sure what his dream was. Maybe he wanted to be able to worship the way he wanted. Maybe he had dreams of setting up a new life for himself. Unfortunately his dream was short lived. He died soon after arriving in America. He left his daughter, Elizabeth Tilley to carry on his dream.

Thirteen year old Elizabeth was taken in by John Carver and his wife. I am trying to imagine this young 13 year old taken far from the only land she knew only to be left stranded in a land she knew nothing about. She was forced to pursue a dream she had not chosen for herself. This young girl stood up and shouldered the dream.

By the spring of the next year, John Carver and his wife had also died. Would her dream die? Would this young teenager throw up her hands in despair and surrender her dream? 

John Howland, John Carver's indentured servant, stepped up to the plate and married Elizabeth Tilley. Imagine a young teenage girl losing her parents and then later losing the only other people she felt close to. She bravely accepts an offer of marriage and continues on to fulfill her dream: a dream of creating a new life for herself. A life of freedom to choose how she wanted to worship. A life filled with children and grandchildren. 

Her will made it clear how important she considered her relationship with Jesus. She charged those who came after her to live this relationship out. She lived her dream, she never gave up when things were tough. Her determination gave her the ability to pass her dream on to the next generation. Her example encourages me to know my dream and to live it out and when I die I will pass it on to those who come after me.

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