I don't like waking up after those sorts of dreams. They never last long enough. You never remember exactly how you felt. Once it's over, it's done -- and even if you fall asleep again, even if you replay it over and over, you can never go back. (Only nightmares repeat themselves.)
I dreamed a dream like that last night. A beautiful dream. I woke up smiling, narrowly awake, wishing to go back. But I couldn't. It wouldn't be the same. It'd be forced. It'd be wrong. And through the soft comforter and three pillows, it hit me hard: life's like that.
There are a million nice things in the world -- a million stories that could be lived -- a million happinesses to be experienced. Everybody has their deepset desires and their daydreams, the kind that don't end when the alarm sounds. I have them. Just dreams and wishes in general and then things I want so badly that I'd stay up for a thousand nights to wish on all the stars if it'd do me any good.
I've almost touched many of my dreams. Some shatter the second I reach them. Some slip away right as I realize I want them. There is some regret, some heartache and always a keen desire to go backwards in time and relive the dream -- wide awake this time, knowing it will end, savoring every second.
But the more I try to fix what's been broken and reclaim what's been lost, the further it runs from me -- just like trying to redream a beautiful dream. Coming to grips with finiteness has been one of the biggest struggles for this control freak.
It's enough to drive a person mad (and maybe it has in my case). Yet on the flipside of finiteness -- and this gives me hope -- is HIS sovereignty. And He dreams the best dreams, writes the greatest stories and weaves the bad and broken into good and truth and beauty. The best things come as a surprise from another place untouched by my contrivance.
Nobody can fall asleep and purposefully dream a good dream. It's only when one is perfectly still, sound asleep, not even expecting it...that's when the dream creeps in. I think resting in God is like that -- letting Him send the dreams and fulfill the desires, so that life becomes one big surprise instead of one big power struggle.
Lately I've been pondering this verse:
Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. || PSALM 37:4Like I said, I'm pretty passionate about the things I desire, pretty strong on pursuing my dreams, pretty reckless when it comes to hope. It hasn't always been true that He's given me my desires. I've been burned. But it made sense when I woke up that day -- the dreams come when one's asleep, not fighting. The desires are fueled by and fulfilled in Jesus Christ alone. And so I pursue Him, not my dreams. I pursue Him, not my desires. Then, when I am still and waiting patiently, when I am quiet and content, the dreams come, the desires come.
They're my desires, fully, tuned to God's heart, but they're mine...from the deepest longing. But this time it's also God's desire.
Then it doesn't feel wrong. It doesn't feel forced. It just is and it's good and it's pure. It's something one could never imagine (and thus something you couldn't mess up before it happens). It's a dream from the mind of God.
May we all dream that sort of dream and never wake up.