Monday, November 5, 2012

I had a dream ...

I was reading the book of Daniel last night. Most of chapter two was part of the lectionary readings for evening prayer. This chapter deals mostly with Daniel's interpretation of the mysterious dream of king Nebuchadnezzar  As I was reading, it struck what a good thing it was that I wasn't one of those being called upon to interpret the king's dream. Any time I've had a dream that has seemed in any way portentous, the cold light of day has later revealed it to be very, very wrong. 

I'm thinking for example of the dream concerning a certain young woman who decided to declare her undying to devotion to me (in the dream, you understand). The woman was by no means unattractive, but I was unavailable, so I was rather nervous in her company for several weeks thereafter. The fact that she shortly thereafter produced a boyfriend - whom she later married and had several children with - did tend to take the edge off my worry. Unless she was making a truly remarkable effort to hide her real feelings, I strongly suspect this indicates the dream was wrong. 

And then there was the dream I had subsequent to hearing the news that an acquaintance had died after a brave struggle with a long illness. I was surprised as I hadn't been aware that he had been ill at all. I went to bed that night & in a dream learned that his 'long illness' had been a battle with alcohol and depression which had finally ended in suicide. I awoke to the uneasy feeling that the dream had revealed some profound truths to me about the life and death of this person ... however, the profundity was rather diminished when I later learned that reports of his death had been greatly exaggerated.

Dreams may well carry important information for some people. We come across it several times in scripture for example. But for most, I suspect, a dream is just that - something that will fade like the morning mist. And unless you have strong evidence to the contrary that your dreams are different - and I do mean strong evidence, along the lines that they have enabled you to win the lottery several times on the trot - then it is probably best to let them go.

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