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21 March 2009

God Speaks in Dreams, in Visions of the Night

A passage my mom used to read to me as a child:

For God speaks again and again,
     though people do not recognize it.
He speaks in dreams, in visions of the night,
     when deep sleep falls on people
     as they lie in their beds.
He whispers in their ears
     and terrifies them with warnings.
He makes them turn from doing wrong;
     he keeps them from pride.
- Job 33:14-17 (NLT)

I just awoke from a dream in which I was having a conversation with my dad when he was 21. We didn't talk about anything particularly weighty; matter of fact, I don't even know what we were talking about. I just had the chance to have a conversation with him before I'd introduced him to things like kids and gray hair.

It dawned on me while I listened that I was almost twice the age of this guy I was talking to, and that I actually was probably wiser than my dad as he was at this point. And then I realized that he would gain some of his wisdom over the upcoming years at the merciless hands of his son.

I saw that he didn't have any wrinkles, and that he still had the spark and the blissful naïveté of youth. Though I've certainly realized it before, I think that it was at that moment -- in my dream -- that I had the big epiphany that most adults probably eventually have: I made my parents' lives into something akin to hell (I somehow saw this in reverse as a teenager). I wanted to give my dad and mom their youth back and say, "Here, you can enjoy it this time around. I'll stay out of the way." But of course, I can't do that.

I wonder if I'm still doing that to anyone -- making their life far more difficult than it ought to be because I'm being self-centered or living my life without the heart of a servant.

"Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions." (1 John 3:18, NLT)

I'm sorry, Dad and Mom. And to the rest of you, I'll do better.

4 comments:

Tony M said...

Neat dream, neater interpretation. And I really enjoyed the way it was written, too ("merciless hands of his son" for instance). Most of all, of course, the implication and application are quite a challenge. It's one thing to say, quite another to do. Goes right along with Ephesians 4, I think, which has had a similar effect - challenge - towards me recently (e.g., "take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you").

Leroy said...

Often times when my middle son "acts up", I will call my parents and apologize for my behavior as a youngster. It's just part of life.

Beth said...

Fascinating insight, and great scripture reference.

Gave me lots to contemplate this morning. "I wonder if I'm still doing that to anyone -- making their life far more difficult than it ought to be because I'm being self-centered or living my life without the heart of a servant." - that's convicting stuff.

Great post.

Dean Lusk said...

Thanks, everyone.

It's not the first time I've thought of this, it just happened to hit with more force after that dream.

I think I mentioned in a post once that as a teen I had a bumper sticker that read, "Avenge yourself. Live long enough to be a problem to your children."

Apparently I'm in the process of that now. :)

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