I don’t often remember my dreams, but this one I did, not because the content was remarkable, but because of the pathway it sent me down.
The dream was pretty much a jumble of images that culminated in a story of a spy who used a season’s seat at some sporting event to pass on messages. He/she sat in the same seat every time and held up a series of cards with a secret message inscribed. This was not of the John 3: 16 or hello Mom variety. In fact they made no sense. Mary look up and stop. Am I rite? of course the misspelling was part of the clue. In the end the government agency figured out the cards and the signals that led them to where government secrets were being hidden in the stadium. Not profound.
But as I nestled into my pillow to think, I was reminded of a conversation with friends about passwords. I needed a password and as he gave to me, I thought how confusing, his wife must have picked up my thoughts because she explained how he came up with his passwords, by using a document about faith that is divided into paragraphs and sub-paragraphs by numbers. For example 1.1.3 Then he uses a few words from the first line. Genius Huh? No one would ever pick up on that. Just like the weird cards from the spy but better.
The possibilities were endless. Any number of statements of faith. Laws. By laws and standing orders of boards and committees. The Dewey decimal system and your favorite author/book. And the best part if you have trouble remembering passwords then just keep a list of paragraph numbers and if you forget it is easy to look up. Secure. Safer than the proverbial Fort Knox. (Of course now that the cat is out of the bag, it might not be as secure any more.)
That early morning pondering as I woke up from the dream then led me down the pathway of contemplating what real security is. Yesterday at worship we focused on Psalm 125 which reminds us that we are secure in God with these amazing words:
Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion,
which cannot be shaken but endures forever.
I live surrounded by mountains and they are pretty substantial. There might be the odd rock-slide or mudslide, but the mountain remains towering and strong a sign of the permanence of creation; the permanence of God in our lives.
At a time when we look around at the state of the world and feel like this planet is spinning out of control it is good to take a step back and remember that everything we are, everything we have is held securely in God’ love and care.
It is so true that when we look at Scripture we can see that the truth makes a difference in our lives and takes our eyes off of our problems and onto God. I am reminded of a Peanuts cartoon in which Lucy and Linus are talking about weather and flooding. In the end Lucy is reassured and Linus says quite simply “sound theology has a way of doing that.”
That’s how I feel about anything that points us to God’s truth, which has the power to comfort us, bless us, direct us, encourage us and lift us up. God’s word is the foundation upon which we build our lives. So yes, even a strange dream that sends us down a wormhole that leads us to contemplating God’s greatness is a good thing.
But it isn’t THE good thing. Only God can provide that. But those other good things that show us a path to God’s truth are included in those things that come into our life, so that when we pay attention to it will show us the goodness of God. Whenever that happens for me, I am grateful.
Let us pray:
SECURE IN GOD
Strong One, whom we seek each day
Enter into our lives in unexpected ways
Cause us to see you in the many things that point to your love
Upend our lives with your surprising revelation
Reveal the depth of your nature
Engage us in your word as you reveal it to us
In turn O God we will promise to seek your unexpected revelations
Nuanced in and through the mundane and sublime unfolding of our days
God giver of good gifts, we praise you
Open our mouths to speak your praise
Delight us with your presence, now and forever. Amen