I suspect that our daydreams can tell us a lot about the condition of our hearts. They can reveal our motivations, our dissatisfactions, our hidden desires, our idealistic aspirations, and sometimes our corrupt nature.
Today I caught myself daydreaming about what it would be like to manage the brand of a small, creative company. I suspect that I was doing so simply because I work for a large, established organization. I’m quite sure that somewhere there was someone who works for a small company dreaming about working at a large company where he or she didn’t have to wear ten hats and could go home at 5 o’clock! It’s rarely sunnier on the other side of the street. But I digress…
Dreaming about the future can be a fun thing, but I often remind myself that not all daydreams are God’s dreams for us. The Bible has some pretty interesting examples of people who followed their dreams either to God’s glory or to their peril.
On the upside would be Nehemiah who during the reign of the Persians led an extraordinary effort to rebuild the city walls of Jerusalem. He left his day job (a very good one with the Persian government) and took a major risk. His efforts were successful, the people were brought closer to God, and their place of worship was protected. I really like the book of Nehemiah. It’s a really interesting read, plus I like saying cool names like Nehemiah and Artaxerxes.
On the downside would be King David daydreaming about the beautiful woman he saw atop a nearby building. His preoccupation with Bathsheba led him to do the unthinkable – murder her husband and claim her for himself. It’s a remarkable story (not the least of which being how David restores himself with God) found in 2 Samuel, but a sad example of how a seemingly innocent fantasy can become the downfall of a family. Insert your own Elliot Spitzer reference here.
These are extreme examples, I know. But the point is this – before letting our dreams take over our lives we need to do our best to discern if they are God’s dreams for us. This hasn’t always been easy for me, but thankfully God gives us the ability to seek his will through prayer, scripture and other Christians. Bruce K. Waltke in Finding the Will of God writes,
God guides us first through his Word, then through our heartfelt desires, then the wise counsel of others, and then our circumstances. At that point we must rely on our own sound judgment… God gave each of us a brain, and he expects us to put it to good use.”