Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Dreaming Again

Once upon a time, I dreamed.

I don't mean sleepytime dreams, or rosy daydreams, or even those dreams that happen in the strange in-between period of half-awake and half-asleep, hardly conscious, but somehow aware of what floats through the mind. No, I don't mean those dreams.

Once upon a time, I dreamed wide-awake.

I dreamed of changing the world.
I dreamed of affecting people for the cause of Christ. I dreamed of joining hands with saints of old in a long line of passionate individuals working for the kingdom of God. I dreamed of traveling the world, leaving my mark on the ground beneath my feet, and on the hearts and lives I touch. I dreamed of communicating truth with excellence, resulting in transformed lives. I dreamed of being an Elisabeth Elliot, a Darlene Diebler Rose, or a Gladys Aylward. I dreamed of hearing the words, "Well done, good and faithful servant... enter into the joy of your Master."

I dreamed of changing the world. But sometime in the last year, I stopped dreaming.

I'm not exactly sure when it happened, or why my dreaming lost steam, slowed down, and died out. Maybe it had to do with the fact that I expected God's plans and promises to take a particular form, and they looked very different than I envisioned. Perhaps it was because I tend to ask God about my dreams after I attach my heart to them. Maybe I just grew tired of God peeling back my fingers to wrench my "dreams" out of my hands so He could actually do something with me. Or it could be that I was just too close to God's work to see what was taking place.

Whatever the reason, I stopped dreaming. Stopped asking. Stopped looking. God still worked on me, and in me, and through me. I didn't stop seeking Him, but I did stop inquiring of Him, and my perspective shrunk into something small and shallow. I was so focused on life that I couldn't see the context of God's work and direction. But last week something changed.

God asked me to lay my heart on the table and allow Him to move it, change it, guide it, and fashion it when and how He wants. My former "yields" looked more like "Fine! Take it!," followed by a heart lock-down, but God asked more of me than a huff-puff pout. He asked for my whole self, no-holds-barred. I wrestled. I questioned. He answered the same: Surrender. Give it to Me. He gave me the grace, so I gave back heart. I set my desires, plans, and longings on the chess board, then stepped back to watch His masterfully-designed plan work itself out. It hurt. There were tears. But when the tears left, peace settled in, and has remained. My soul can breath again, and I didn't even know it was stifled.

I can't see my way ahead. I feel as if I'm at a trailhead with 5 possible routes before me. I know the routes and what they look like from where I stand, but I'm blindfolded and don't know which way I walk. I am not stationary. I'm being pushed, or drawn, along by a force outside of myself. It's as if I'm playing "Blind Man's Bluff." I can feel movement around me as God changes people and moves circumstances, and changes and moves me. I can feel it, but I cannot see my way ahead. Yet He draws me, and I follow after Him.

Once upon a time, I dreamed. And in surrender, I have begun to dream again.

1 comment:

Jared said...

Hmm... Intriguing photos point me towards intriguing meditation on God... I feel like I've fallen into a well laid trap... =)