They cause us to invest in schemes of often-fruitless endeavors. We wake up from them in a foggy muddle to face their opposite. Reality.
Yet, we still have them. We want them. Maybe we even need them.
Is it wrong to dream? Should we believe in our dreams? No is the answer to both questions, I think. Because I do think we should believe our dreams.
Biblical dreams often predicted the future as well as a reality check. It mattered little what human plans were put into place. Those dreams were always fulfilled.
Joseph’s brothers may have been angry at his prediction that they would bow to him like sheaves of wheat. But, throwing him down a well and selling him only paved his journey to Egypt where he became second in line to Pharaoh. The brothers would have to bow before their brother to ask for grain during the famine. They would have to supplicate for forgiveness, too. (See Genesis 37, 39-45)
Nebuchadnezzar may have doubted Daniel’s interpretation of his dream. Until he grew hair like feathers, claws like a bird, and went mad. Maybe if he had listened and not taken credit for his kingdom. But, then, the dream had predicted he would do just that. Even so, the dream revealed his renewal. In the end, he knew from where his kingdom had come. (See Daniel 4)
What about our dreams today? Are they always fulfilled?
Some would argue the days of prophesy have passed, and we have no need to interpret our dreams as any more than what they are. I’m inclined to agree. But, I do think our dreams are a manifestation of our subconscious fears and desires. A reality check about our thought lives may well-come from a dream.
A reality check about our life ambitions may also reveal the fulfillment of our dreams.
My 6’6″ son will never be an NBA All-Star. He isn’t the center for the high school team nor did he play for them. But, the reality check is that he has a better outcome than an NBA player.
An NBA player hopes to play past mid-thirties. My son can play with this team into his fifties and sixties as long as he is able-bodied. An NBA team may or may not win a division let alone a national title. But, my son’s basketball team won first place in their regional division yesterday. An NBA player may play with the same team for an entire career, but the statistics are stacked toward at least one trade. My son can play for this team for as long as he chooses.
The funny thing is an NBA player can’t play on my son’s team either. Neither can I. My son and his teammates have a unique qualification that makes them eligible.
They have special needs.
Do I dream about my son being an NBA basketball player? No. I live the reality that my son is a basketball player.
I still have dreams. I want them. I need them.
They make the reality checks more fulfilling.