The Weaving of Dreams

Remember your dreams?  Not the ones that came as you slept at night, but the ones that made you feel fully alive when you were awake?  Do you remember the possibilities, the adventure, the colors, patterns, ideas, and outcomes you imagined? Do you remember the thrill of sharing those dreams with others, and the excitement of finding someone who would dream with you? Do you remember?

Right now you are angry.  Oh, you might not admit it, but everyone around you will testify.  You are sullen, moody, quick to retort, socially withdrawn, and frustrated.  Really frustrated. Nothing is good enough, no one is smart enough, life isn’t beautiful enough to accommodate you.  No, everything is gray, cold, bitter, and laced with larceny.

What happened?

Your dreams became a part of you back in the day.  Your aspirations for the future became the fiber of your soul, and you knit your life together with those dreams.  The colors you chose, and the textures you wanted became your fuel and your passion. But then something happened…

The world you live in withheld some of the colors you wanted. That job, that promotion, that particular family or dynamic you were longing for didn’t happen.  In fact, reaching your goals became harder and harder until it felt impossible.  Nothing worked out. Sometimes you gave up and cut the threads on purpose.  Sometimes you let them unravel, or burned them altogether.

Now your dreams are your tormenters.  They are voices in your head that haunt you.  You look at them now as inflicters of pain, and anyone who reminds you of your dreams, or begins to dream in your colors, becomes a source of frustration to you.  You don’t want to talk anymore in colors, textures, or future.  You snap at those who do.  You are bitter.  You are jaded.  You are hurting.

While you are certain the world has turned its back on you, those around you are still singing, dreaming, coloring, and filling their lives with dreams, goals and possibilities. You are tempted to shut them out or shut them down. But wait….

While you were actively pursuing your future, other threads were woven into your story.  Dynamic colors, subtle shades, varying textures, and joy-filled patterns that sprung up from the every day living.  Laughter, friendships, children, sunsets, opportunities, excursions, good food, good music.  They wove their way into your life in order to secure your soul, and keep you alive.  But you weren’t watching.

The “real opportunities” you wanted, didn’t materialize.  The good food was just a temporary pleasure, and you took it for granted.  The laughter of children, you decided, was just naivety on its way to pain, and you let it roll on by.  Your dreams were beyond all of that…so you thought.

Think back for a minute.  In your dreams, wasn’t there laughter, joy, beauty, music, opportunity, love, and flavor?  Weren’t you expecting those things at one point in your life?  Hmmmm….

Perhaps the dream you knit into your soul was a “life event” you expected that would re-color your world, and instead of it being one big event, it came in little threads, in a million little events.  Turn around.  Look.  What do you see?

Maybe looking back you can see the tattered ends of broken threads where you gave up, and the surprising entrance of other colors, shades, and strengths.  Maybe if you turn around, you will see that you were not the weaver of your soul, as you thought you were, but that maybe your soul is knit together and secured by Someone who knows you better than you know yourself.

Can you see the patterns?  Can you marvel for just a moment at the strength and durability of the differing threads? Can you see the blessings of your life for what they are?  Blessings! Can you stop and thank God for those?

The only road out of bitterness is thankfulness.  The only cure for an angry heart, is returning to “wonder and awe”.  The journey back to relationships is through forgiveness, both the giving and receiving of it. And if you want courage for your dreams again, you need to encourage the dreams of others.

You’ll soon discover that your soul is made stronger by the threads of others, and your dreams were never meant to be woven in isolation. Those threads that you thought were taunting you, were actually calling you to “look” “to see” the life that was being woven, and to encourage you to keep going. Your life really is worth living, and the beauty of your life is yet to be fully seen.

Laugh again.  Go ahead.  Enjoy the pleasure of a walk again.  Breathe the air and take in its smells, and sensations.  Eat your food slowly, and notice its flavors.  Hold your loved ones, and squeeze them like you won the lottery.  Ask for forgiveness, and let love back in. Restart your dreams, but this time…look around. Don’t miss the blessings.  Don’t despise the little things.  Rejoice in every delight, and find joy in the patterns of your life.

Above all, delight in the Weaver of your soul.  God who knows you, loves you, and delights in you…even though you’ve been a stinker!

Psalm 103 New International Version (NIV)

Psalm 103
Of David.

1 Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
3 who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
6 The Lord works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.
7 He made known his ways to Moses,
his deeds to the people of Israel:
8 The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
9 He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
13 As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
14 for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.
15 The life of mortals is like grass,
they flourish like a flower of the field;
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
17 But from everlasting to everlasting
the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children—
18 with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.
19 The Lord has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.
20 Praise the Lord, you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his bidding,
who obey his word.
21 Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts,
you his servants who do his will.
22 Praise the Lord, all his works
everywhere in his dominion.
Praise the Lord, my soul.

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Photo courtesy of Chuck Skeek.

 

Storms Part 1

STORMS Part 1

There is something about saying yes to a dream or a calling that also causes you to say yes to storms.

I have a friend who told me the other day that it was a dream of his to learn to play the guitar.  The picture of himself on a mountain top with just he and God, worshiping as he strummed that instrument was so inviting that he began the learning process.  He soon found out that the learning process is not so dreamy.  There were blisters, finger cramps, many things to memorize, and coordination that had to be learned.  Then there is the learning curve involved when you sing and play at the same time.  Dreamy? No.  Fulfilling? Yes!

What makes a sailor good?  Why do people aspire to sail? The sailor has learned to propel his boat forward making use of the violent winds that attempt to destroy his ship.  He learns the ebb and flow of the tides to time his departures and arrivals.  He masters the waves and troughs by constant encounters with the sea and it’s fury, and with each experience he learns how to utilize his strengths, knowledge, and his the unique design and build of his boat to navigate his course.  He must encounter storms.  He must navigate the waves.  He cannot be a sailor without that experience.  Storms are an essential ingredient to his dream.

When God gives us a dream, He brings fulfillment in it.  Sometimes we lose sight of the dream or calling when we are locked in the fog.  Sometimes we are disillusioned when the rain is pouring.  Yet there is something about that dream or calling that beckons us through the awkwardness and embarrassments, through the mishaps and  misunderstandings, through the pain and the feelings of failure.  These “storms” are essential to the making of a dream and the making of a man/woman.

Others will look at you living your dream and say, “I want to be like that!”  What they have yet to know is that the moment they step out to follow that dream they are going to face storms.  Jesus said “In this life you will have trouble, but take heart!  I have overcome the world!” John 16:33.  God has also promised us that “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 1:6

If you are in a storm “Hold on!”  This isn’t all there is.  There is a calling and a dream being formed in you.  And as sure as storms come, they also go.  May God give you peace as you weather the storms.