I pass through the kitchen as he opens the microwave to warm up a snack, and the coversation begins. I’m not sure why my middle child’s best time for conversation is ten minutes before I fall into bed, but I’ll take it. I listen as he shares his hopes and dreams. How he wants a dog and is saving to build a tiny house. I lean in close and grin because this son of mine is a dreamer. I should know. I’m a dreamer too.
At least I used to be. I haven’t been dreaming too much lately, and I don’t know if I’ve given up on dreaming or let life get in the way. It leads me to wonder like a prayer thrown high, “What’s the deal God? Have I forgotten how to dream? Maybe I’ve become too complacent, too go with the flow?”
I pack the questions along with my things and head off to a short retreat. As I enter camp my questioning continues, “Do you even care if I dream? Does it matter to you Lord? Is it possible dreams get in the way of your will? Or, are my faith and dreaming somehow related?”
I’ve loved this place as long as I can remember. It’s the place I shared dreams with my elementary bunk mates far too many years ago. A place I’ve brought many children and teens to experience camp for the first time. Oh how I dreamed they would grow to be mighty men and women of God. I’ve seen lives transformed on this soil, hearts healed in the chapel, and several hear a call to ministry.
This is my burning bush in the desert place. My take off your shoes kind of holy ground. A thin place where the distance between God and me shrinks to almost nothing.
I walk passed the prayer trail and watch ducks dip beaks under water’s surface. Tiny minnows make ever widening circles and frogs call from the banks. The sweet smell of honey suckle captures my attention as I admire it’s yellow and white beauty. It’s as if creation is stirring me, calling me to remember the dreamer I am.
I’m not sure why I forget to dream. Maybe life’s just too busy for dreaming. Or maybe it’s my way of avoiding the response my dreamer son gets at times. The “reality” comments or shrugs of impossibility others offer. Sometimes realities and impossibilities aren’t the point. Because dreamers dream just for the sake of dreaming. It’s like exploring all the possible paths on the GPS and marveling at which direction God will take you. Excitement fills the air as life’s potential expands in my dreamer heart.
New green leaves rustle in the wind and I feel the Spirit blowing softly. Get back to dreaming. Dream big and bold and beyond the reachable. What are you waiting for?
So I do. I dream of life and love, strong relationships, and a lake house one day. I consider the best I can imagine, even things I can’t. Something about it lifts me up and lightens my step. It’s as if dreaming ignites a fire in me, and I am delighted.
Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.–Psalm 37:4
Rain drips off the roof and I walk and talk to God under my umbrella. I can imagine the Father listening to my dreaming chatter, leaning in close and grinning wide. He’ll not squash the dreams with reality lessons, nor remind me of the impossible. Because whether my dreams come to pass isn’t the point. Delighting in the sheer ability to dream and dream big, to pour it out like rain falling and know God’s listening… that’s the point.
Many things have changed here over the years.
The prayer trail no longer looks the same, and the cabins my little girl self slept in have been torn down. The cafeteria is new and gone are the fresh yeast rolls with every meal.
But the white cross island remains the same.
I see blond girl standing on the high dive long since taken down. I remember her whispering to herself, “You can do this. Dive in, straight as an arrow. Point your toes, don’t make a splash.”
Over and over again she dove. As she plunged deep to the bottom, she dreamed of crowds cheering her name. She was a tiny diver in her own olympic world.
I laugh out loud at the memory of my dreamer self. I am many things… a mother, wife, cook. I am a teacher, encourager, friend, daughter. I’m the older sister, aunt to several, and crier in the family. But diver, not even close. No disappointment resounds in the unrealized diving dream or the thousands of other dreams left undone.
There was a time I lost focus, considered the dream most important. I suddenly became a deep sinking Peter in my stormy sea. But that was long ago, and dreaming wasn’t the problem. Taking my eyes off Jesus was the problem. I too cried out to the Savior and for a season put my dreaming away.
Now, somewhere deep it begins to unfold. Today, dreams call me to sit hesitantly on the side of the boat. They’re the fuel igniting my desire to water walk. Dreams morph, and die, and rise again as time moves me closer to the One who never changes. Dreams are to faith like hydrogen to water.
I glance back for one last look over the water and the white cross. I’ll be back soon. I’ll cross Thunder Bridge and gaze to the left, and there it will be shining white in the sun.
Until then, I’ll dream…