Wednesday, March 12, 2008


There are some nights when I battle against insomnia. I lie in bed, staring at the ceiling, thinking of everything that needs to get done and trying to figure out ways to get it done rather than falling asleep. These can be long nights and the mornings always come way too quickly.

Quite often, during these nights, my mind turns to dreams - dreams I have for the future - dreams of what I want to accomplish - dreams of what I want to see during my journey here. Some of these dreams are realistic, and others are just pipe dreams, but I dream them anyway.

Dreams are important. They help all of us to set goals and look beyond the immediate nature of today. It is good to have dreams, and to make time to try and find ways to achieve these dreams. But, as I have come to notice, sometimes we get so caught up in dreams for the future that we neglect the gifts we are given today. We are looking down the road and miss seeing what is happening right here and now. So the question is, how do we combine the life we live today with the dreams we have for tomorrow.

Back in college, my friends and I always talked about what we would do when we graduated. After graduation, we talked about where we would be in ten years. Now, some of my friends talk about what they will do when they are retired. But what about now? Are we trying to just make it up another rung on the ladder, or are we rejoicing in the blessing of today? There needs to be a happy medium somewhere.

For me, the key has come with the issue of time. We only have so much of it, and we need to take full advantage of what we have been given. Taking time to be with the people we love and to do the things we love to do. When we do that, the other dreams fall into place, for we see that all the other stuff - trips, cabins in the woods, etc - are made so much better when we live those dreams out with the people we love.

Humans were created to be in relationship with others. Those relationships take many different forms, but are all important. We need to make time to help these relationships grow in the healthiest ways possible, rejoice in the gift of them, and celebrate the dreams we have with others.


Betty Dygart said...

I, too, have sleepless nights. For me, it signals that I need to write, so I get up from my bed, come down to the computer and try to get in touch with the feelings that are keeping me awake. It is something like an exorcism.

I store these ramblings on my hard-drive for a time, sometimes sharing them, but mostly not. I keep them there, sometimes going back to reread them, if the specter remains in my psyche. But, eventually, I go into the computer and clear the cache, letting the issues go, giving them to God.

When I read what Pastor E said about dreams, it brought to mind the days when I was teaching about the transcendentalist, Ralph Waldo Emerson. I loved that unit. It allowed me to "get spiritual" with these kids, who lacked such connections, more and more, as my years in the classroom went on.

Anyway, one of Emerson's observations was that most humans spend their time either looking back, often wishing the former days would return, or standing on a box, as it were, straining to see what lies ahead. While doing this, they miss the here and now.

Children are not so. They live "in the moment." Children hungrily absorb every new experience, delighting in just "being." The result is that they are more spiritually connected to the universe, and can more easily accept the power of God in causing that miracle to occur.

It brings to mind the words of Jesus, that we must "enter the kingdom of God as little children."

I will try harder to be more child-like in my outlook on life, trusting in the power of God to make all things right.

chrissy said...

Pastor E happened to write this on a day when I had been up since 2:30am unable to sleep. My sleeplessness usually stems from worrying about stuff. I worry about money, my kids, my jobs; you name it, I'm worrying about it. I get mad at myself when I have these sleepless nights because I think it's not putting a whole lot of faith in the Lord to take care of things and I, of all people, know that He handles things way better than I do. Over the past few years, as my faith has grown stronger, I've had less sleepless nights so I'm hopping that the other night was just a fluke; a weak moment in my faith-filled life.