Lent, Daydreams, and the Dark In-Between: Part 1
Recently I saw a travel mug that said, “Don’t give up your daydreams,” a word play on that other expression for the dream that isn’t quite delivering a paycheck. The mug made me smile. I liked its focus.
But here we are in that season many observe called Lent, typically taken on as a time to give up something. So should we give up our daydreams? Maybe, if that’s where God invites us to go. I wonder, though. Might this season of remembrance of the events of Christ’s life and sacrifice offer unexpected insight for us in the movement toward our dreams?
Do you have a dream or goal that seems to lack forward movement?
What do you know about it so far? What do you hope for?
If I were to chart the movement of my own life’s goals and dreams, there would be quite a few overlapping colored bands of progress. Some dreams would appear to be in their lightly tinted idea stage. Maybe one dream would be shaded in an about-to-be-realized stage of full color.
Most of my dreams are hovering in that in-between space beyond a thought but far from fully birthed—in muted pastels or gray. The vagueness of the in-between is a difficult, sometimes chaotic place for me. I wrestle with my soul’s longings and doubts. I cry out to God, “I don’t want this if there is a different, better focus in your purposes through me!”
It’s that in-between space of our dreams—more than started but far from realized—that I connect to the lessons of Lent, this holy season of remembrance. We don’t have to give up our daydreams, but we can lean into God’s invitations toward the soul shifts that can shape our dreams so they have a chance to become all they are meant to be.
I have found those shifts occur most beautifully, not just whirling in my own thoughts and designs where I lose perspective, but as I take time for reflection and relationship with God. In his presence, as he pulls into my heart his words in Scripture, I am reminded how he delights to bring all things toward redemption and transformation.
The story of the gospels we are recalling and moving toward through Lent are the events of Jesus’s journey to the cross, his death and resurrection. We observe an in-between time of wondering and chaos, of loss and confusion, ultimately leading to a necessary great love sacrifice. This moves into a pinnacle event beyond anything anyone ever thought or could imagine.
What questions do you have around your dream?
Where are you most discouraged? Most hopeful?
When we sit with the events of this difficult but redemptive story, we might find God at work inviting, redeeming, and transforming. Do we have the courage to go there . . . fully?
I’m not sure I do, though I’d like to. Dipping a toe in, I begin to see that this reflection and movement toward him, if I fully lean into it, might naturally shift my perspective and shape my actions around my dreams and goals.
First-glance thoughts . . .
- I’m reminded and challenged in this Lenten season to gaze in a singular direction toward the one I am invited to follow: Christ alone.
- In reflecting on this unfolding story, Christ’s path through the cross, I feel the depth of the in-between, the dark middle of the story. Deeply discouraging for a time, it culminates in light and life.
- I begin to notice some of the intricacies of God’s design behind these events. Christ walked the darkest “in-between” path imaginable, but the ultimate result was redemption and the transformation of each of us and every thing about our lives, including our dreams.
While the chaos of our unfolding dreams is small compared to the turmoil of the redemptive story of the cross, that same love meets us where we are in our questions and darkest moments of doubt. Maybe God is saying, “Don’t give up your daydreams.
Do you have a current dream that, in its unfolding, is moving through that cloudy unknown or often confusing in-between space. Tell us about your dreams and goals or how we can pray for you through your season of dreaming or of Lent. Then join me again later this week for part two as I move a little deeper into the connections between Lent, daydreams, and the dark in-between.
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