I have a dream …


A massive conference. Cutting edge. Industry wide. Competitors and innovators together. Me in the audience. In awe of my participating colleagues. Expectant and engaged. Enthralled and receptive. A rare opportunity to be part of something like this. And then without warning my name was announced as presenting a topic to be given by one of my colleagues. His absence through unexpected sickness. My name and his topic echoing through the auditorium. Right then, right there. And then the spotlight found me. There in the safety of the anonymous audience. And I found myself standing up …

You ever had that moment?

Sweaty palms, and resentment, and “why me.” Knowing you will be judged. Will be boring. Will be irrelevant. Without a choice. Other than staying seated and looking really stupid! So standing-up to take the spotlight is the only choice. A choice that delays looking really stupid by a few more seconds. Once I am found out.

And I was.

I stuck to the topic as I had heard it week after week in the office. I waffled. And I suffered the silence of confused boredom. I quickly died through irrelevance. And I resented the execution of my professional reputation. Through no fault of my own. In front of so many. I seethed. Furious at the unfairness of my demise.

And then a short addendum.

That when such a moment occurs, am I really bound to fulfil someone else’s agenda, someone else’s topic? Am I obliged to become someone I am not, to present someone else’s words, knowledge, experience? That if I am called to the spotlight – then I must rise. But from that moment on … how I fill that slot, that segment, that call … that is my choice. If I am bound to rise, I “am bound” only to rise – but am not bound to “be someone else” – not bound to speak another’s words. That if I am obliged to take that moment – then how I fulfil that invitation is mine – and mine alone.

~ ~ ~ :-/ ~ ~ ~ :-/ ~ ~ ~ :-/ ~ ~ ~

It was a dream I had two weeks ago. In Turkey. On holiday. Disconnected from normal living and routine. A weird dream. A dream remembered. So unlike the few fleeting seconds of “normal” fading dreams I occasionally have. Never remembered. Not like this one. And why did that make it important? Because it stuck with me these past two weeks – as clear now as it was then. Surviving the rigours of sea and sand and beer. Does that make this important?

And now, here we both are, back to normal living and routine. My first day back with the clock ticking and work calling. And still that dream lingers. Unanswered. Disconnected.

Jesus said to his disciples, “No one after lighting a lamp hides it under a jar, or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a lampstand, so that those who enter may see the light. For nothing is hidden that will not be disclosed, nor is anything secret that will not become known and come to light. Then pay attention to how you listen; for to those who have, more will be given; and from those who do not have, even what they seem to have will be taken away.” Luke 8:16-18

And He seemed to link these verses with this dream. Because He reminds me that I chose this “light”. I revere this relationship. I court His counsel. I languish in His love.

And yet …

Just like “work” and my dream, when He calls my name – when the spotlight swings towards me – when I get the sense to rise – then I resist – then I have sweaty palms – then I have that “moment”. And so often I choose to stay seated and safe in the audience – knowing no one else can see that “spotlight” – knowing only I can hear my name being called.

Apart from Him. He who calls. He whom I ignore.

Why is it then, that when work “calls” I know I will stand. I know I will stand and look stupid. And I will do this whilst seething inside. Yet when He calls …

Because aren’t we all – each one of us – the very ones who have no need of fear. No need to fear being ourselves. No need to fear the spotlight. Aren’t we the ones who choose to live in the light – all day – every day. We chose His Love. We revere this relationship. We court His counsel. We are already on stage. We are already participating. We live in the light. There is no “spotlight.”

Do we not look “more stupid” imagining “a reality” of the dimness and anonymity in the audience? Imagining a “spotlight” finding us in the dark? Imagining “a calling” … rather than the real reality of our rightful position – next to Him – already given to each of us – already taken by each of us – willingly – happily – knowingly?

Why is it that we so often bitch and groan about burden and sacrifice, choose to stay seated, choose the dimness of inertia – when all the time we are already centre-stage and fully illuminated. Why do we invent a reality so far from reality? Why do I dream about work – and even imagine my relationship with Him might also “be work”? Why do I languish in Love – and anguish in life?

Paul … someone famous said “I have a dream …” How was he so different to you … to each one who already lives in the light? Are you not “up there” with him? Are you not as qualified in Love as he? Are you further from Me than he? Do you not also live in the light? Do you and Me not also dream dreams? How then are you different?

So tell Me please – where is this “spotlight” of “calling” you so fear?”

~ ~ ~~ 🙂 ~ ~ ~ 🙂 ~ ~ ~ 🙂 ~ ~ ~

So dear friends – whom I have missed these past two weeks: I have a dream, and a short addendum, and now some verses …

How about you?

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30 thoughts on “I have a dream …

  1. You’re back, Paul. Welcome home!

    Yeah, I’ve had strange dreams. Yesterday, I was reading stuff and what I got from the Lord wasn’t any dream. It was a wake up call. I still don’t know what to write, yet. So much information. Revelation 16 stuff, amongst other Scriptures.

    Missed ya, mate!

    • Why thank you for that warm welcome! 🙂

      And scanning Rev 16 looks like an interesting conversation you and he are having! When the data-dust settles, I look forward to your writings!! It’s good to be back!!

    • Hi Julia – I read those two words “welcome home” and they have stayed with me all day! Welcome home being more than just these four walls and patch of garden – but this fellowship and church!! It really touched something deep inside! Thank you!!

      And flattered as I am at your award gift, He and me agreed to be gracious in affectionately passing-by should anything like this ever happen. I cannot give you a better explanation than that I feel very much the copy-typist in our partnership with this blog – and very happy with that arrangement! So a HUGE Hug and Thank You for even thinking of it – it has made this Monday a lovely surprise!!

      ((hug))

  2. Great post Paul! I’ve missed you while you were gone… oh and while I was gone.

    About the dream, I arrived at church yesterday and found that I was to fill in for the preacher last minute… I can relate.

    Yet He promised to give us the words, so nothing to worry about!

    • Hiya Don – this holiday was a first: no trying to stay in touch with this church (and the list of blogs I have missed is HUGE!!). No bible, no internet, not much spiritualising at all really. Which was why that dream took me by surprise.

      Glad to hear you were gone as well! And congrats for the Sermons R Us expertise! As you say – He gives the words (and the wherewithall) each time. Just have to stop looking for that spotlight!!

      😉

  3. If we will but stand up. God will do the rest for us. I believe my dreams are real. That the Holy Spirit put them there to grow me and challenge me to be more like him. I really am not very religious, just hungry for the real thing. So being hungry God naturally wants to feed me. Rarely what I want to eat. Only what’s good for me. I pray I dream more and stand up more. I know the vacation wasn’t long enough. Hope the beer was good and the sun on your faces rested your hearts and minds.

    Much love Tom

    • Tom – we had that sunset. And it was beautiful. And silent. And wonderful! On a boat, in the middle of a very calm sea, chugging gently right towards the dipping sun. Just you, me and six others. No one talking. No one doing anything. Just lost in the wonder of it all. I have one picture which I will dig out. Because you were right there with me!

      And then once the sun had slipped below the mountains – the boat just turned right and we chugged back onto the slow route home. Like it happens every day!! Every day!! Wow!!

      It was “a sunset”!!

      ((hug))

  4. Welcome home my brother. 🙂 Hope you are rested.
    That dream is like what we went through the past few years of our life. Involved with a fantastic visionary and caught his vision. But when I try to convey it to others – well, I have a difficult time portraying it in the visionary’s words. I caught the “dream” – the “vision” – it changed my life. But try as I may I can only convey his vision to others in my words – from my experiences and heart. It still works. I cannot be someone else.
    It’s the beauty of God – we were all made in His image – and He is made of all of us – I can’t be someone else. I can catch the vision but I will reach others like me. Picasso is Picasso. Monet, Monet. Cate is Cate. Paul is Paul.
    Let he who hears…
    Again, welcome home. I missed this church time.
    cate

    • Dear Cate – your mission to flood FB with flowers! That really touched me. Cate is certainly Cate – and I hope always is!

      And yes, rested and happily out of touch with all the blogs and words and pictures. And restless to stretch out in this church and connect again and grow and blossom – to help fill WP with the perfume of His Love! Each of us being each of us.

      Odd to hear your talk of a vision and conveying it. I have heard others struggle with the same thing. What you say is so cool: “It still works. I cannot be someone else.” Here’s to pebbles, petals and being who we are. Which leaves Him plenty of room to be Him for all of us!!

      ((hug))

  5. Welcome back! Fantastic post!! I have had many realistic dreams… a few months ago, I had a dream that our church service was beginning and I had left my shoes upstairs. I was on stage, directing a choir in front of everyone with bare feet. As soon as I realized I didn’t have my shoes on, I felt embarrassed, and then I quickly woke up. Maybe I’m afraid to bare my “sole” in front of everyone?!

    • Bare your sole!! Julie!! It is little gems like this that I have so missed!

      This holiday was a complete switch-off – and once I got past the guilt (no bible, no internet, no “normal” important stuff) it was really relaxing! And yet coming back today – it is home, it is church, it is something so very special!

      Somewhere without fear. And somewhere with so much that is so precious. Thank you for your words. It is so good to sit down here, breathe easily and enjoy the fellowship (and fun!).

      Ahhhhhhhh…… 🙂

    • Julie, know what this reminds me of? What Father said to Moses: Take your shoes off. You’re standing on Holy ground! Blessings to you 🙂

  6. Oh, Paul, so glad you are back. This was joyously perfect for me to hear today. You have no idea. A calling has come in the last couple of weeks to shine that light, and I may be asked to step down from something else because of it by my own church. You have given me heart this morning to stand strong on that lampstand. Bless you, my brother.

    • Susan – your words spoke directly to something deep inside. So often a “sense” of purpose without knowing the purpose. This piece has been inside me for the past two weeks. And is linked to something He is cooking up for me I think. Yet writing this morning had an urgency not linked with Him and me right now today.

      And then you pop up and add your words. And the link makes sense a little better. Bless you dirt sister – whatever you and He are cooking – is just an invitation to be just the person you are! No more no less. It is a lesson He seems to be preparing me for – purpose without knowing the purpose yet. An invitation to be me with Him.

      Here’s to lampstands!! 🙂

  7. Welcome back!!!

    Very profound words for me who for most of my life avoided the light, spotlight, hot seat like the plague. Now older, maybe wiser, no longer fearful of leaving the shadows I love, dare I stick a toe or two outside and see what happens…
    Thanks for your encouraging words!

    • Hiya Lilka – thank you.

      I think most avoid being the centre of attention (as we see it) – I know I do most of the time. I think what came to me was that He sees us as His centre of attention.

      And if He thinks that – then all I can do is accept I already am “centre stage” – and do what I do best – be me!

      ((hug))

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