Ordinary Heroes: Dare to Dream Big
by Marilynn Chadwick A sense of calling in life is vital for anyone. The Bible says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18a KJV). Moms raising their children in fragile neighborhoods have shared how having a purpose in life can often divert their children from drugs, gangs, and prison. Not a luxury, vision often means survival. My young friend Dominique was just ten when gang members befriended him. “I was kind of a mascot,” he says. But gang mascots became gang members, and he was headed for trouble. One day, Dominique discovered an online chess game. He got the hang of it and became good—really good. He didn’t like to lose, and pretty soon he had taught himself a variety of creative chess moves. Before too long, he was “busy” when gang members called. Busy with chess. Busy with starting a chess club in his school. Then busy as chess club president. When he got to high school, he added competitive wrestling to his already busy schedule. Dominique was way too busy finding his purpose to run with gangs. In time, Dominique became the top high school chess player in the state of North Carolina’s Scholastic Chess Association. He won a national tournament and was also within striking distance of becoming a Grand Master—an international distinction. In his application to the Christian college he attended, Dominique wrote: “By getting closer to the One who allowed me this chance and continuing with the plan that we dreamed up together when I was a young child, I feel that I will be able to help someone else and make a lasting impact.” Dominique further distinguished himself in college as a natural leader. Even as a child, Dominique had a sense of God’s destiny through his childhood dreams of playing chess. And when Dominique heard a clear presentation of the Gospel his first semester in college, this vibrant young man accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Dominique’s earthly dreams had eternal implications that went far beyond the mastery of chess. Since that time, he has been a mentor and role model for the hundreds of kids he has taught to play chess throughout our community’s schools. He is also a husband. He and his precious wife just welcomed their first baby. Dominique is an ordinary young man who learned the secret of dreaming big. I hope his story will help you pursue your own dreams—no matter how impossible they seem. Remember, “...with God, all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26 ESV).