Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Dream Bigger

Back in 2013 the California Lottery had a marketing slogan that bothered me quite a bit. I recall thinking that the lottery was offering more hope than the modern American church. It was a simultaneously ridiculous and accurate notion. Our country was still battling the effects of the Great Recession: record high unemployment, government instability, threat of war, and general skepticism of the structures of our society. In the middle of that turmoil, the California Lottery was telling us to Dream Bigger.

It wasn't a bad message, except for the fact that it was being delivered by an organization with more than a 99.9999% failure rate. Not great odds.

There are two kinds of dreams. One type of dream occurs during sleep. Scripture is filled with people who heard from God while they were sleeping:
  • Abimelech learned through a dream that this wife was married to another man (Genesis 20).
  • Joseph had a series of dreams that set into motion a chain of events that would save his family and move the people of Israel to Egypt (Genesis 37).
  • Solomon had a full conversation with God in his dreams: God asked Solomon what he would like from Him, Solomon asked for understanding and discernment, and God promises that he will receive what he asked for as well as riches (1 Kings 3).
  • The wise men were warned in a dream not to return to King Herod (Matthew 2).
  • Joseph, the step-father of Christ, had a dream to marry Mary, then had a dream to take the young Christ to Egypt, and then had yet another dream to bring his family back to their  native land (Matthew 1-2).
  • Because of a troubling dream she had, Pilate's wife knew that Pilate should not get involved in the crucifixion of Christ (Matthew 27).

The other kind of dream is a dream of the heart (we sometimes say plans, goals, or ideas).  I haven't traditionally associated these heart-dreams with God. It's not that my dreams were evil; it's that I never allowed myself to dream much. I see, now, that it was a lack of faith. I'm thinking of one particular dream I have (but please forgive me, I am not ready to share it yet). When the idea first crossed my mind, it actually made me sad. Instead of thinking, "Yes, God. Let's do that!" I was filled with sorrow that "That will never be me." It's been at least ten years, and I still don't know how that dream would happen, but I have faith in God that it can.  No... I have faith in God that it will.

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