Yesterday I had a really good idea for a blog entry. Or at least I thought it was a good idea. Today I can’t remember anything about it, except that it seemed like a good idea. It’s so frustrating. It’s as if during my night’s sleep the internal white board on which I write the important stuff I want to remember gets all smudged so that it is illegible in the morning.
At the same time I found myself awake at 5.21 this morning (I looked at my clock) with my mind rehearsing lots of the things I am going to do today. Why couldn’t it wait? Why did my brain decide that 5.21 in the morning was a good time to go through the day and wake me up in order to do it? Someone needs to tell my brain that if I have a good night’s sleep I am more likely to be able to cope with the day than if I have been awake half the night thinking about it.
I quite like the theory that dreams during sleep (as opposed to daydreams or aspirations) are when the brain does all the filing of things that are important in your life. That makes sense (until I start to think about some of the dreams I have had!). It helps explain why some dreams seem to have meaning. It also provides an opportunity for God to put some new files into our lives for us to file in the ‘woaah’ or ‘really?!’ section. Just ask Joseph (of technicolored dreamcoat fame).
I have only had a few dreams that I felt had direct meaning for my life. The most dramatic was when my family was on a boating holiday on the Norfolk Broads. I was only four (I think) but had a vivid dream in which I could see my teddy bear floating down one of the Broads. I shouted out “My teddy’s floating!”
This woke my mother who thought, “He’s thrown his teddy overboard!”
She jumped out of bed to come and see the problem…
…into water that came up to her knees. The boat was sinking. My teddy and my dream had saved us all from drowning in our sleep (I may be exaggerating the danger levels for dramatic effect). I have often wondered whether that dream was a message from God. On its own it was a weird dream. In that context it was exactly what we needed to hear. The same seems to be true in my life of lots of other occasions when God has spoken to me – through other people, through circumstances, through passages in the Bible. On their own they are insignificant or strange. But in that context they are just what I needed to hear. I guess I need to make sure I am always listening.
“You’ll know tonight.” he said.
That evening, the man came home with a small package and gave it to his wife. Delighted, she opened it to find a book entitled “The Meaning of Dreams”