The Power of a Dream: Vision, Dreams and Nightmares
It’s a mess. That’s the best way I can describe the dynamic within Jacob’s family. Jacob’s habitual sin of deception and favoritism, Joseph’s pride and young ego, and the brothers’ jealousy and hate are just a few of the issues we learned about this past Sunday.
Joseph, Jacob’s son, has two dreams that his arrogance blindly misidentifies, which adds the cherry to the top of this dysfunctional dessert. Yet, within that easy criticism I felt myself moved to dig deeper into what God was trying to teach me.
Pastor Rick said, “Joseph seems to be afflicted with some sort of pride that is often apparent among the favored and the blessed. He was so focused on how great his dreams were for him, he didn’t begin to consider how the dreams would sound in the ears of others. You know, that can happen to us. We can become blind to our blessing.”
This paragraph holds great importance for me. The beginning of this story is more than the troubles of Jacob’s family, or the arrogance of Joseph. Could this be about relationships and living life? Could this example still hold relevance today? It certainly does for me.
Pastor Rick transitioned from discussing the biblical story of Joseph to challenging us to think about our own dreams and visions, knowing that as Christians those dreams and visions often don’t originate from our own thoughts. God is working behind the scenes. So, to stay engaged this week I thought I would play along:
1. What’s on the horizon for me?
Honestly, I’m not exactly sure. What I do know is that I see many opportunities to connect with family, friends, colleagues, and new people in the very near future. It has been my goal this year to try to be a better listener and to put my own opinions and the need to speak on the back burner until appropriate. I really want to try and understand peoples’ perspectives on living even if they do not align with my own thinking.
2. What am I organizing my life around?
Love, encouragement, grace, gratitude and growth.
3. What dreams do I have?
TBD. I say that because when I tried to answer this I realized I have more of a mission statement than a dream. I want to take some time with this as we move through this series.
4. Is God the source of those dreams?
I have to answer 4 first. Lots of praying and discussion will be taking place in the weeks to come.
5. How do I turn a dream into a vision?
I had the pleasure of attending a small group last summer, in which we studied Visioneering by Andy Stanley. Simon Sinek’s Start with Why is another fascinating book. But again, I have to answer question 4 first.
These are hard questions to answer but I think they are important. Throughout the Bible we see stories of God taking a messy or awful situation and making something beautiful from it. I have witnessed that in my own life more than a few times and as I look back I think it’s important to acknowledge.
Joseph’s life is filled with hills and valleys much the same as my own. I think reflecting back and understanding that will help me to help me to answer these questions and then refine those answers as I move forward not only in this series but also in life.
If you weren’t able to attend this past Sunday or you weren’t at the MTL campus, I would encourage you to take a listen to the podcast and play along.
‘No matter what I have, Your grace is enough
No matter where I am, I'm standing in Your love
On the mountains, I will bow my life
To the one who set me there
In the valley, I will lift my eyes to the one who sees me there
When I'm standing on the mountain aft, didn't get there on my own
When I'm walking through the valley end, no I am not alone!
You're God of the hills and valleys’ – Tauren Wells
Many blessings, friends.