Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Dreams & Desires of the Heart

It is a picture-perfect day in Southeast Michigan. The sun is shining, raising the temperature from the low before dawn to what will be around 70 F this afternoon. The trees are remembering what it's like to be green again. I'm ready to go out and do a little yard work. Life is good.

The house has been quiet this morning. School and work have called the rest of the family away. I've done my work here from home. And in the silent meditation of reading and prayer, I've had a bit of an epiphany: Everybody needs to dream now and then.

Recently, I have begun working on a decade-old dream of mine. Our church is going to open up its doors this fall and sponsor an after-school-program for kids in 5th-8th grades. In our sleepy little town, there are programs for kids prior to elementary school and even in the lower grades. But nothing for the older kids. And while we still need to provide a place for high school kids to go and hang out, our little congregation is stepping up and throwing open the facility to one segment of society that needs a little attention and direction, and a safe place to simply "be kids".

As I have been thinking about all of the things that need to be done prior to the start of the program, (raising funds, communicating with students and parents, getting volunteers in place, putting together the program), I was feeling more than a little bit overwhelmed. How will we get all of this done in time? Where will the people and the money come from?!

And it was at that moment that I "heard" it. Maybe better to say I "sensed" it. A voice. Well, not exactly. Not like if you called me from the kitchen and said dinner's ready.

But a thought, an impression upon my mind and my being. Here's the thought:

"You've had this dream now for over 10 years. Every step you've taken in the last few months has been successful. WHAT ARE YOU FREAKING OUT ABOUT? Why not simply relax...
take it a step at a time...
with a smile on your face...
and joy in your heart...
and the realization that I AM bringing your dream...
to the reality stage?"

In my tradition, we call this type of impression or thought "the Spirit speaking". God's Spirit. The Bible compares the Spirit to the wind. (Same word, "nooma" is used in Greek anyway.) Both the Spirit and the wind go or blow where they will. You can't anticipate it ahead of time. You can simply see the results after the fact. And cooperate or fight it while it's happening.

One of the great dreamers of the Bible, Jacob, (who interestingly gave birth to one of the great dreamers of all-time, Joseph), said this after he had awakened from a dream. "Surely the LORD is in this place, and I wasn't even aware of it."

So how 'bout it? When was the last time you had a good dream or were deeply passionate about a desire that was within your heart? Nothing makes you come alive or puts a spring in your step as a passion or a dream. May the Spirit lay new dreams and desires upon you today.

Grace & peace.

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