We've battled with anxiety over the last couple years. We've taken stabs in believing what we've dreamed or heard in our spirits to be the voice of God preparing us for approaching change. When nothing appears to have changed at all, we've grown uneasy or discouraged. In looking at what happened to biblical characters in their relationships with God, anxiety and uncertainty are always a part of their stories. God is sometimes mysteriously quiet while his children wait and wonder. Many faithful folks have laid in their beds recollecting what the Lord has told them. I'm in good company.
Early one morning last week, I dreamed.
The dream then shifted. I was in a doctoral studies program. I was anxious about my own progress in the program. I walked around in what looked like an upper floor of another department store, mostly in the circular area around an escalator. I asked several students how they were doing, trying to compare myself with them. I grew more anxious as I walked from student to student and hearing how far along they were. They had a handle on things. I didn't, but they each conveyed to me by words or impressions I had nothing to worry about.
I finally asked Oprah if I had anything to worry about. She conveyed to me I didn't.
Early the next morning, I dreamed again.
My memory of this dream begins with me driving the streets of Baltimore. I know I was heading for an area of town which I was not familiar. The car I was driving changed from a blue Pinto to something else. The Pinto went to the right, and I went left. I thought why must I mourn the loss of a Pinto, a Pinto, for crying out loud. I concentrated on the Pinto, and it needed to go and not be cherished.
The streets were noticeably dirty. The cars were all old and grimy. After I turned left, the street became one way and narrowed. I then approached a stop light where two signs directed the two lanes to either proceed straight from the right or turn left. The street ended in a perpendicular intersection.
From the left lane, I turned onto a street named Lower Colossus Avenue. When I turned, my car became a bicycle. I then heard a voice, like a radio broadcast, say, Lower Colossus Avenue is known as the most liberal street in America. The homeless of New Hampshire are drawn here to live.
The traffic slowed to a stop, and I maneuvered my bike through the lanes. I got off the street and rode joyfully through the adjoining neighborhood.
The dream shifted to my parents' house in Parkville. I stood in a dark living room where a buffet table was set with food. I said, Merry Christmas, to my cousin who didn't look like my cousin. He was holding a phone to his ear with his right hand and extended his left hand to me. I shook it and then took a large piece of meat from the buffet without a plate and held it in my left hand.
I then went into the kitchen where a large table was set with numerous place settings. I walked to the left side. My brother directed me to choose one of two seats. I chose the left one. My sister sat on the back porch talking to others. My brother said he and my mother and me would be going out the next morning and then asked my father, who stood in front of me, what he would do. He said we ought to let him eat some breakfast first. When he said that I saw the numbers three and four. Three meaning God; four meaning door.
Virtually, all the sides or directions I followed or chose were left. Left means the work of the Holy Spirit. When Dad stood in front of me in this dream, it was as it was when Oprah stood in front of me. I looked at the two of them by their profiles from my left side. This is reminiscent of a memorable dream I had when I still pastored in the UMC when I dreamed I saw a couple by their right profiles from my left, and I saw Ezekiel 3-7-9. This proved to be a very formative dream regarding my remaining days in the UMC.
There are many symbols and parabolic meanings from both of these dreams, but space and time just lends me to say both of these dreams address my anxiety and encourage me to relax and wait on the Lord. The left turns and choices encourage me to believe Holy Spirit is leading me and directing me consistently, Again, I can relax and wait in confidence.
Standing on the precipice of a deep calling in God, a step, a determined effort, may not be called for. Maybe, all there is to do is to relax and fall into the active will of a loving Father. Amen. Alleluia.