Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Challenge Continues, Day 340: Nahum 3; Psalm 126; Mark 4

Of Dreams
I am a vivid dreamer. I dream in color. I dream smells (good and bad). I dream vividly, and even sometimes lucidly. When lucid dreams come my way, invariably I attempt to fly...really more of a glide...and if I can catch a good thermal in the dream I wind up high in the clouds. I also have nightmares. Some of them would curl the toes of the best Hollywood horror movie directors. Dreaming works out the kinks of my days, most times. Sometimes it unearths stuff I had shoved down deep into my soul for another day's (or night's) processing. Sometimes, rarely, the dreams carry a sense of portent. Once, a long time ago in seminary, a dream was also a vision.

Always, be they from within or from some sending of God, a dream is a portal on understanding. In the realm of dreaming, we get a chance to walk unfettered through our psyches, to delve into the deep hopes, fears and desires from ourselves. Dreams are a chance for our waking selves to learn from the whole of our being. Dreams are where the filters drop, where we meet God and our own selves face to face. And it all happens while we are asleep. It is something so necessary for us, and yet few of us can act with intention to dream. Dreams just are...they come. We experience.

Nahum's visions of Assyria's fall are potent dreams, indeed. The dreamer, awake or asleep, sees vivid and terrifying visions of the fall of a civilization. This is what it looks like to see a whole culture, a whole empire...a world power...disintegrate. It's a terrible nightmare...

The Psalmist's joy is overwhelming, and though being experienced in "real time" the thought that this bliss of Zion's restoration is more like a waking dream than anything else. Real life can't hold this much joy, this much hope, this much grace....and yet, it does.

Finally, and I wonder at this moment, after encountering a dramatic storm on open water, Jesus is sleeping on a mat in the stern of the vessel he is embarked on with his disciples. What does he dream? Are his dreams as storm-tossed as the lives of his followers in this moment? Are they rich with parabolic symbolism, as his teachings submit? Are they cosmic, with the normal and waking human filters lifted for a brief period as his conscious self slumbers? Does he dream the way God in heaven dreams, or does he dream like an everyday person dreams?

And you...what are your dreams? What is there to learn from your time away from the conscious self, when your mind is awake to the subconscious in its deep work of processing the days past, our present concerns and what may yet be in our lives? What might God be offering you?

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