By John Ed Mathison
John Ed Mathison Leadership Ministries
Last week I wrote about how the dream for the renovation of the sports venues has come to pass in Montgomery, and we are now called “The Capital of Dreams.” Let me go back a few years and share a dream that made the present dreams possible.
Before I started traveling so much, I would do a segment on the sports talk radio show every Thursday morning. I would leave early and go downtown to the Farmers’ Market to eat breakfast before the radio show. Phil Norton, the owner, and I lived in the same neighborhood, and our kids grew up together. People from every level in the political, social, economic and religious world ate there. Senators and sanitation workers might sit next to each other.
There is a large round table in the back corner where I liked to sit. Some important and some not so important people eat at that table. If you listen you can learn a lot. It has been said that so much knowledge is expounded there that you might even learn the name and serial number of the Unknown Soldier! Meeting at the round table is an example of Mark Twain’s observation, “If you don’t go you are uninformed — if you do go you are misinformed!”
One interesting person with whom I ate many times was Pat Dozier. There are a lot of stories about Captain Pat. When he died about six years ago, Mayor Todd Strange heard that I would be leading the funeral, and he called me and shared a very interesting story.
Thirty years ago the “Committee of 100” was meeting. The “Committee of 100” was a part of the economic development arm of the Montgomery Chamber of Commerce. I think it might have been out of this committee that “Leadership Montgomery” was born. Mayor Strange said that Pat Dozier and Margaret Carpenter were asked to put on a skit for the committee. In this skit they began to vision what the downtown area along the river could offer, such as a riverboat, marinas, sporting events, water sports, baseball stadium, entertainment, family activities, businesses, etc.
Of course people laughed at these dreamers and visionaries. Thirty years ago these possibilities were not even on the radar of most people in Montgomery. If you go downtown today, you will see that much of that vision has become a reality. Montgomery has one of the finest baseball stadiums anywhere. The amphitheater is a great place for entertainment and community activities. The “Harriott II Riverboat” is very popular. The historic train shed hosts many activities. More family venues and businesses are coming to reality. There are still plans being developed, with construction of apartments along the river walk from downtown to Maxwell Air Force Base.
Thirty years ago Pat Dozier and Margaret Carpenter had a vision. Today we who live in Montgomery are enjoying the fruits of that vision.
This is a good illustration that nothing happens in life until someone has a vision for it. Leaders are visionaries who know how to cast a vision for other people and work with them to bring it to reality. Vision is when you see what other people don’t see. Unless you see it before you see it, you’ll never see it!
It’s great to live in the Capital of Dreams where people are encouraged to dream and think outside the box. If you never dream you’ll never have a dream come true. Today’s dreams are possible because of people in the past who dared to dream.
Dreams do come true.
John Ed’s blog posts appear in For His Glory each week. 1
Contact: JAM Executive Suite 4,4131 Carmichael Road, Montgomery, AL 36106 Phone: 334-270-2149 Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
1Listen to John Ed Mathison’s one-minute daily devotional on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/johned.mathison/ and click “PLAY” on the audio YouTube in order to listen. Or you can go to his ministry page at https://www.facebook.com/JohnEdMathisonLeadershipMinistries/