Two Odd Dreams that Wound Up Connected [Noval]

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Lupens Near the Cabot Trail, Cape Breton Island NS, 2015

3/31/18  Last day of March. 

Holy Saturday, awaiting the Morning joy of Resurrection.  Come and fill my cup, Lord…

I had two odd dreams last night..  In the first one, I was in an office building and headed for the restroom.  A woman I didn’t know came up to me, with a stern look, bopped me on the head and began telling me off for not doing my job.  She seemed to think she was my supervisor. 

I looked at her and said something like “the name is Smith.”  She responded with something like, “Yes, I’m Ruth Smith” (I dont really remember the first name) “and you need to do your job!”.  I responded with, “I’m Noval Smith”.  She got a look of astonishment, maybe embarrassment and said something like “you’re not John Horowitz??” (Again, I don’t remember the exact name, but it was Jewish, I think Horowitz). 

In the second dream I was in some sort of doctor’s office, being examined by an older man.  I was explaining to him that I’m experimenting with a gluten-free diet to see if it holds a key to my acid reflux (which I’m actually doing right now).  But in the middle of my remarks he seemed to lose interest, got up and sauntered out of the room. 

I thought, “well, I guess I’m done here”, and proceeded to leave.  I was almost out the front door of the office when I realized I had no shoes on.  So I went back to retrieve them.  I had to wander through several examining rooms before I found the shoes.  In that room there was now a nurse who was strapping an older woman onto an inclined board, seemingly in preparation for some sort of chiropractic adjustment.  That’s all I remember. 

Setting:  It’s been a good, full week.  I’ve had lots of interactions with people, opportunities to share with folks, pray with folks.  I have been experiencing some frustration with my character flaws: my reticence to be open and honest with people about my beliefs, convictions and faith. 

[Here’s what I felt like the Lord was saying about these two dreams].

The first dream was about identity.  The “supervisor” was all about unmet expectations, some of which you impose on yourself, some of which the world imposes: what the world defines as success, significance, etc.  The Jewish name is significant.  Judaism is a system of righteousness via the law, or performance-based identity.  The law defines you based on what you do, how you perform: 

grace + right actions = right standing with God/identity 

In the dream you confronted the law (the demanding “boss”) by stating your true identity (“My name is Smith”), which stands apart from the law.  Your identity is not rooted in performance, but grace.  The law demands performance. Grace invites you to live out of your identity: “I run in the path of your commands because you have set my heart free” (Psalm 119, NASB).  Grace invites you to walk according to the Spirit, not the flesh.  The law drives; grace leads.  The law demands; grace invites.

The path of grace is the path of joy, fruitfulness, peace.  My yoke is easy and my burden light. 

The walk of grace is not a walk of indolence, passivity and sloth.  It’s active, dynamic- but its fuel source, its energy is love, hope, optimism, joy, gratitude.  It knows nothing of guilt, shame or drivenness. 

My servant Paul was eager to motivate the recipients of his epistles to love and good works. And while he occasionally spoke words of discipline, rebuke and correction as the need arose, his primary tools for motivating folks were love and the reminders of their true identity in Christ.  Living out of your identity is the secret to fruitful, abundant living. 

What about the second dream?

You were letting the doctor know about an initiative you were taking to improve your health.  In a way, that’s another picture of the life of the flesh- what “you” do to make yourself all better- “I’m experimenting with such and such a diet”, etc.  The Dr. wasn’t all that interested in your efforts, just as I’m not interested in any shame- or guilt-motivated efforts at self-improvement.  The only changes I’m really interested in are the ones I can do in you as you surrender to me in brokenness, humility, dependence and trust.  When you’re operating in self-determination, self-motivation, self-righteousness, self-anything, you won’t get much of anyplace significant- you’ve got no shoes on. 

The older lady represents wisdom, which comes from humility, brokenness and surrender; a willingness to submit herself to my loving hand of teaching, rebuke, correction and training in righteousness.  This kind of yieldedness, brokenness, submission to my character formation is a learned skill. The result is a unique and wonderful preparation: getting your feet shod with the gospel of peace. 

How do I get there? 

Plenty of unhurried time in My presence. 

Thanks, Lord.  As always this is helpful.

{Noval’s note:  As always, this process of two-way journaling on dreams fascinates me.  I start out with a dream (or in this case dreams) that make absolutely no sense to me.  But if I quiet myself down and ask the Lord, He ALWAYS shares something rich and unexpected that make complete sense of the dream.  Fascinating!}

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