“In dreams, spiritual reality breaks into our life…In our conscious life, we are often blind and deaf to God. We overlook what God wants to tell us. We listen solely to our own thoughts and those of the people around us and fail to hear God’s voice. For this reason, God must be made perceptible in our dreams.” Anselm Grün, Dreams on the Spiritual Journey
I trust the language of dreams. I hear from the deepest part of myself, the part of me that knows the Divine beyond my thoughts or beliefs or ego. I have spent years listening to and working with the images of dreams in prayer, spiritual direction and journaling learning to trust that I can trust my dreams. My dreams always bring insight, often provide solutions, and, more recently, give me courage.
Recently I had a dream that my daughter and I were driving down a road to our home. While we were driving near a large building under construction, there was a huge explosion that spewed debris and dust in every direction, plummeting from the sky, dipping sideways, flying through the air. There were cars, smashed along the road, that had been hit by flying debris. Despite poor visibility, we continued driving. I may have told Jessica, or at least I was thinking, that we needed to keep moving forward; that stopping, even though we could not see through the dust in front of us, would put us in greater jeopardy. Even though it was frightening, we had to move forward. But I also knew we needed to slow down. Move forward cautiously and courageously—this was the insight I heard as we drove through the flying dust and debris. Frightened and, yet, confident, we safely reached the other side of the explosion. The view was clear, the dust had settled, we were out of harm’s way.
The dream wasn’t a huge surprise—there’s a lot going on in our life right now. Uncertainty and changes, surprises, disappointments, some anticipation and some fear. The dream captures the ambiguity that is our life lately. If we are truly honest with ourselves, we live with this ambiguity every day under the illusion that all is just the way it should be and always will be.
But we can never know what is right ahead of us, when the dust and debris will create chaos in our life. We can’t anticipate everything. And we can’t necessarily hurry through the life-is-under-construction experience either. We just stay the road, moving forward cautiously and courageously.
I reflected on this dream when I had the opportunity to drive country roads this past weekend—a favorite soul-comforting practice I do for myself. I love the slow, sauntering, stop-the-car-and-take-a-picture-on-the-side-of-the-road-in-solitude moments. I must admit, though, this past weekend there were too many obligations on my calendar and the sauntering was at a quicker pace than I like.
In Nebraska, it’s get-those-tractors-out-of-the-barn season; and if you’ve never driven behind a tractor, they drive verrrry slow, kicking up a bunch of dust (God bless the driver’s corn-planting souls). There is no driving closely behind a tractor. You won’t go anywhere fast and you can’t see a darn thing. One must be patient.
It made me think of my dream. Drive slow, be cautious, move forward and wait for the dust to settle. With a little patience one can see what otherwise might be overlooked. One can see more clearly when the dust has settled. I think this is true for country roads and for life. I’m waiting for the dust to settle…
I share with you some of the views from my country road drives near Schuyler and Columbus, Nebraska. Happy dreams, slow-sauntering and blessings on your journey this week! May the dust settle quickly.
“…if you know and have been affected by your dreams you will feel in yourself a thread of meaning and purpose that is part of something much bigger than yourself.” -John A. Sanford, Dreams: God’s Forgotten Language
For more blog posts on Country Roads.