I caught the tale end of a documentary on Susan Boyle the other day. I was just in time to see her (and hear her) singing with the West End cast of Les Miserables. For her it was a dream come true – she dreamed a dream and it happened. Later on in the evening I took a look at her Britain’s Got Talent audition on Youtube. As the camera spanned the audience and the judges, there were so many cynical shakes of the head, and whispers that conveyed minds already made up. Elaine Paige? In your dreams, woman! And then she sang, and eyebrows arched upwards, people were on their feet clapping and the judges were wiping away tears. Susan has her CD, her interviews with Oprah, her fans pushing autograph books under her nose and her website! She dreamed a dream.
We were talking dreams yesterday as we sat drinking tea and coffee and eating homemade shortbread biscuits. They were not so much the Susan Boyle dream of what we could become, or do, although later on the conversation did turn towards “projects” or dreams of what we could achieve in 2010.
The conversation was about the sleeping version of dreams and how much God used them as vehicles for sharing His plans. I have to admit that I have had more than my share of dreams whose content could not have been other than God inspired. They have been so down the line, obvious, not veiled in dream symbolism, technicolour messages that only a fool would put them down to too much cheese. There have been a lot of them. There have also been a lot of plain ordinary dreams that make sense at the time of dreaming, but are gobble-de-gook on waking. Then there are those “could be a message” dreams.
I don’t keep a dream diary. If I remember, I remember. If I forget, I forget. I am not sure that God needs to use dreams to get through to me. I love His word and more than often, His words comes up with all that I need – the challenges, the promises, the rebukes and the warnings that seem to feature in dreams. I suppose that I am suspicious of my dreams because I am suspicious of my imagination. Sometimes the line between what is real and what is imagined becomes a bit too fuzzy. Does that mean I am on the brink of insanity? Possibly! If it’s in black and white and written on the pages of the Bible, it’s something that I can trust – if it’s in pictures in my head, it’s not necessarily something that I can trust.
That doesn’t mean that it is something that I can just cast aside either. Take the other night. There was a short scene, in amongst a lot of other stuff, of myself and my church leader. He didn’t say the actual words “You are a waste of space, Mel,” although he might have done. (On reporting this to the rest of the company there was distinct agreement that he wouldn’t say that – not, I have to say, that he would have no cause to say that!) On waking, I remembered the words “You are a waste of space, Mel,” and I (a) didn’t wonder if he really would have said it or not, (b) didn’t really wonder if this was a God-inspired dream or not but (c) agree that although a waste of space was a bit harsh, it wasn’t entirely unfounded!
I can think of a myriad ways in which I serve God, or have served Him in the past. I don’t warm a pew. BUT..I may not be making the most of the gifts that God has given me. Like the first and the second servants in the parable of the Talents, I am working, but like the third servant, it’s possible that I have buried stuff too – worried that I might fritter it away and have nothing to show for it.
The chapbook that I produced for the November Poem a Day challenge, which I haven’t submitted yet, because I am not sure if it is a chapbook – whatever it is that I have made, this little book of a dozen or so poems really has thrilled me. These are my poems, written, printed, folded over, with a cover, in a little book – I no longer doubt that I have talent. I no longer doubt that the talent comes from God. I am beginning to believe that the talent is not for playing with.
So, when it came to talking about ”projects” for 2010 – mine is poetry and publishing inspired. I am not setting dates and deadlines…I am making no covenants or vows…although yesterday’s reading from Psalm 76 did mention that at the end. I have just moved the pan off the back burner, and turned up the heat a little!