On Faith column: Dreaming is good for youThe months of summer fall into the church season of Pentecost. The season continues from the summer through November. We began the Pentecost season with a celebration of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost Sunday, which fell on May 27 this year.
By: Pastor Susan Berge , Knife River Lutheran Church
The months of summer fall into the church season of Pentecost. The season continues from the summer through November. We began the Pentecost season with a celebration of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost Sunday, which fell on May 27 this year.
The lesson from Acts 2 which is always read on Pentecost Sunday includes a quote from the prophet Joel, “In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.”
This year I found myself thinking about those who “dream dreams”, regardless of their age or gender.
Summer is, at least in our imaginations, supposedly a season when we will find time to do some dreaming.
Not as in dreaming while sleeping, but as in dreaming while awake about things we’d like to see happen. The image conjured up in my mind includes a sunny afternoon, maybe a lawn chair, a tall glass of ice tea, and a person leaning back and dreaming about….whatever they might dream about.
Even in the summer, I’m afraid such moments are rarer than perhaps they should be.
But, the lazier warmth and sunshine, along with our lesson from Joel for the Pentecost season, urge us to spend some time dreaming over the next period of time.
Dreams are obviously highly individual and personal. What are your dreams? Do you dream of retirement, or travel, or the birth of a child or grandchild? Do you dream of starting your own business, or learning to play a musical instrument, or purchasing the boat of your dreams?
A friend recently asked me about my dreams, and I was mildly taken aback to realize I didn’t have a ready answer. Somehow in the busy activities of daily living, I hadn’t put much energy or intentionality into thinking about my dreams. I imagine that’s true for many of us, but I fear it’s an unfortunate omission. Dreaming of future enterprises is a gift from God ... maybe we need to place a greater priority on exploring our dreams. That kind of dreaming is certainly a journey of faith, as we perceive where God calls us to be or do for this day, and every day in the future.
I recently came across a Baccalaureate sermon given by Pastor Dennis Johnson for the graduating class of Gustavus Adolphus College back in 1993. He noted that the Lutheran Church College would be delighted to hear of the future adventures of the graduates, including their career progress, further degree programs, marriages, children, and so on.
But he added that what might not get reported back to the College in future years was the answer to one of the most important questions of all: “Did you find your life?”
I found this question to be both insightful and unsettling, because again – how many of us take time to reflect on whether or not we have found our life, discovered the richness of the future God dreams of on our behalf?
“Finding our life” involves so much more than just careers and degrees and marriage and children, crucial though all of those may be.
“Finding our life” involves time for reflection, prayer, whimsy, spontaneity, adventuring, and without a doubt ... some time for dreaming. Through all these ways, the Holy Spirit, ever free, moves among us.
As always, it’s tempting to put off such an exercise for some other day, some other season. But, isn’t this time just the season to do some dreaming?
I hope this summer will afford us all the opportunity to do some dreaming.
Rev. Susan Berge is Pastor of Knife River Lutheran Church. This summer she is dreaming of gardens with blooming flowers and growing vegetables.