Story of the Day for Friday September 28, 2012
Learning to Dream Big
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he saves those crushed in spirit.
If you’ve never heard speakers urge their audience to dream big, to shoot for the stars or sail beyond the horizon, then you don’t listen to many high school commencement speeches.
I vibrate to Commencement Day speeches because I know that, among those bored seniors with sore butts, there is an attentive student who will invent the perpetual motion machine or a grad who will someday win first prize with their strawberry jam at the county fair.
Nevertheless, despite these inspiring themes, I still have the urge to interrupt commencement speeches by making rude noises during their presentations.
Graduation speeches don’t tell us the full truth. They lack the courage to talk about failure and shipwrecked dreams. They don’t even mention the percentage of graduating seniors who will someday wind up with hemorrhoids.
Lately, I’ve been reading about high school graduates who have been told to shoot for the stars.
More than a half million males play high school basketball in the United States. Many of them dream of entering the NBA. Yet, only one in thirty five of them will ever play for a college team, and less than one percent of high school players will ever play basketball in competitive Division One colleges.
But even NCAA Division One basketball is a long way from the pros. One out of every seventy-five NCAA college players will advance to the pros.
The NCAA, whom I commend for their frankness, says that for every ten thousand high school basketball players, only three of them will ever be drafted by an NBA team.
That only a few high school players will play in the NBA is not surprising news. But here’s what breaks my heart: Forty-three percent of black high school basketball players believe they will make it into the NBA. Out of every 10,000 black basketball players, 4300 of them think they’ll hit the big time, and 4297 of them will find that their dreams have been crushed.
It gets even sadder: nearly half of those black players believed it’s easier to become a professional basketball player than to become a doctor or lawyer.
When you follow your dreams and sail for the horizon – only to find your ship marooned on a hidden reef, don’t expect your high school commencement speaker to paddle out to you to hold your hand.
But I do know someone who will be there for you. The Lord stays close to the brokenhearted. Admiration attaches itself to achievement, but love is attracted to need.