Thursday, February 13, 2020

When I Sleep

I've had some memorable dreams the past few weeks. They've stuck with me because they've been so vivid and so relevant to the life transitions I'm going through these days.

In the first, I was finding my way through a large church. I wound my way from room to room, which included a handful or more of sanctuaries. Each of them had a unique architecture; a few of them were reminiscent of churches I've known over the course of my life. One reminded me of my hometown church, another was very contemporary with a full team of audio/visual people giving others cues before a service. I also made my way through multiple fellowship halls and classrooms and hallways and there was even more than one balcony.

The one thing this maze-like building seemed to lack was an exit. I couldn't find a way to leave. I just kept walking from room to room to room until I woke up.

In the second, I was beginning my time at the national setting of the United Church of Christ. And once again, the building had a certain winding quality to it. I was shown three different desks that apparently were all mine: one in a crowded "open plan," another in a quiet, secluded space, and another that was truly my own office. I was given the choice as to which one would be my primary work area. That was the entirety of this dream.

Some believe that dreams are basically just the mind sorting things out while you sleep, while others believe that dreams can give insight into the subconscious or the spiritual. I straddle the line, because I've had dreams before that have helped me understand how I think or feel about something happening in my life.

Both of these seem to be related to the changes I'm experiencing as I move from pastoral ministry to a wider denominational role.

In the first, I am walking through an endless church facility with elements from real places I've known, a reflection of what I really have been doing since I was born. In nearly 41 years of life, I've never known a "church-less" existence. I still won't, but I'll have to find a new sanctuary.

In the second, I don't yet know what will work best for me in my new role: the new routines and approaches that will serve me well as I take this on.

These will likely not be the last dreams related to these unknowns. Every night will bring the possibility of more.