I had an interesting dream in December, one full of symbols and a meaning I knew I needed to understand. God was trying to talk to me, but what was He saying?
I was climbing up one of those attic staircases, the rickety kind that fold up into the ceiling when you are not using it. I climbed up into the attic of my church. It looked like a storage room for a museum, containing priceless treasures from all over the world.
One of my pastors met me at the top of the stairs. She had a smile on her face as she offered me a beautiful silver necklace. It looked like it had belonged to royalty. It had many large, silver bangles hanging from it, each one inlaid with a light blue rectangle with a dark blue circle in the center. I hardly noticed the necklace, so it is a wonder that I can remember what it looked like at all.
I politely told my pastor, “No thank you.” I really didn’t even consider accepting such a gift. I was never one to wear large pieces of jewelry, and I just didn’t think it would suite me. Plus I had my eye on something I thought was much more important and exciting. Down the hall was an Egyptian Mummy. As I child I had been fascinated with mummies, getting every book that the library had about the topic and pouring over the pages again and again. I used to dream of becoming an archeologist and traveling to far-away places and uncovering untold treasures.
This mummy was encased in a very plain, clay sarcophagus. It was apparent that I had already spent many painstaking hours chipping away at the clay to reveal the mummy underneath. I was excited about the significant discovery I was going to make, uncovering pieces of history that had not yet been revealed. So far I had only uncovered the feet and the lower portion of the legs, dark and shriveled with age. I was eager to return to my work.
Unfortunately I had left the sarcophagus in the walkway of the attic, and other people were coming and going. I knew I had made a horrible mistake as some people brushed up against the mummy’s legs and feet. I watched in horror as the fragile legs simply disintegrated into dust and blew away. I felt devastated.
I pondered this dream for the next few days and here is what I think it means. The mummy symbolizes human significance, the approval of men, the history books written here on earth. Ever since childhood I have been intrigued by the work of men that can endure long enough for future generations to marvel and wonder. Even now it is a deep need of mine to live a life that makes an impact and leaves a mark on the people of this earth. However, if my focus is on achieving significance that is recognized by men, it will be like working carefully and diligently to reveal a mummy. Anything can destroy that mummy. It will not endure.
I immediately thought of my work to become a writer. I long to be a writer. I tell myself that my writing is mostly for myself, to document all the amazing things that God has done in my life. Every time I type out a story, God’s goodness becomes more real to me. Every time I read over something I had written years ago, I am overcome with the Goodness of God that I had forgotten but now remember again because I took the time to write it down! I tell myself and others that my writing is mostly for my children, to give them a written history of what God has done in our family. These things that I tell myself and others are very true.
Yet, my Big Dream (my Big Hairy Audacious Goal) is that my writing will go all over the world, impacting lives. I want to be like the writers whose words have become a part of me and who have shaped the person that I am. Many of them have died, yet their words live on, still rippling through time, shaping the generations.
I also want to be a writer who makes money from my writing. It seems to me that the only way a writer can really make money and influence lots of people is to become known by the masses, to write a best seller, to have her name mentioned in households everywhere, or to have a blog article go viral. I can’t imagine how this would happen to me, but it is still a dream. I feel like every time I sit down and write something, however small and insignificant it may seem, I am that much closer to achieving that goal. But is my work like chipping away at a mummy?
I think God is trying to keep me on track. When I connect my dreams with the image of that mummy, I shudder with a cold chill. That is not what I want! I do not want to spend my life working for something cold and lifeless that most certainly will be blown away by any small wind of criticism, changing times, or fickle public opinion. If this is my focus, I will most certainly fail. I can only write something of significance if it comes from my relationship with God and is written to please Him.
Next my thoughts turn back to the necklace that I had so flippantly passed by. That must be the treasure that God has for me, the goal of my life. What exactly is that necklace supposed to represent? Silver with light blue and deep blue. A necklace fit for a queen.
I am certain that the necklace represents the presence of God. How could I pass up such a beautiful gift in favor of a mummy? I have begun to evaluate my days with this test – am I going after the necklace or the mummy today?
Many times I think that His presence is my goal, but I get so distracted by getting things done. Many times I think that all I need is His approval but find myself straining to gain the approval of others. Many times I feel so discouraged by how little progress I make on anything measurable during the course of my day. But it is the immeasurable things that really matter in this life. I am determined not to miss those things! This takes exercising my faith and spiritual eyes, because those things are invisible and so easy to pass by. But in the light of eternity, they will grace me with the identity that will last forever…the Bride of the King.
In the months following this dream, I have had several encounters with God. He began to slowly and gently reveal more about His presence and the treasure of this necklace…more about that in my coming articles; Encounters with God Part 2 and 3.
6 thoughts on “Encounters with God ~ Part One: Dream Interpretation Please!”
There are many hidden treasures at Life Center yet to be discovered. our potential has not been realized, not nearly. God has things in store for us that we have no idea of. I don’t think of my legacy. We are but a vapor, then we’re gone.
Thank you so much for reading and commenting! Yes, I agree that there are many hidden treasures at Life Center! Those treasures are in us! Your comment about that fact that your are a vapor that will be gone brought up many theological questions in my mind. So I did what I always do with questions. I asked God, searched, and then wrote about it. Here is my reply – sorry it is so long!!
You may not think about your life as leaving a legacy. A legacy is simply, “something handed down from one generation to the next.” Every life has a legacy, whether good or bad. I think we would all be surprised to see how much our lives affect the lives and the culture around us, and how that impact is carried to the next generation and beyond.
Ecclesiastes 3:14 says, “I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.” Does that mean that only God’s works will last but the works of man will disappear? Is a man’s life destined to be only, “a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes” as James said in James 4:14? If I believe that about my life, I come to the conclusion that it doesn’t matter what I do, because my life is so transient and unimportant. God will have His way no matter what…so my choices are inconsequential.
Yet I don’t believe that for a moment! Yes, all the God does will endure, BUT I believe that God does very little on this earth without doing it THROUGH SOMEONE! He has chosen to limit Himself to a great degree in order to inhabit the thoughts, prayers, and actions of His people. So what if each of us would live in the same way that Jesus did?
So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does.” John 5:19
If we only did what we saw the Father doing, our works would endure forever because we would be doing the very WORKS OF GOD!
When James wrote what that “you are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes,” he was speaking to people who were boasting of their own great works in ignorance. This is exactly what God was warning me about in my dream, and I thank you for pointing that out. If I live to fulfill my own selfish desires out of vain conceit and a pride of life, to become great in the eyes of men – my life would be like a vapor that would disappear, a mummy that would turn to dust. Yet if I keep my eyes on Jesus and follow Him wherever He goes, His legacy is my legacy! His legacy is YOUR legacy! I think you will be surprised to see the magnitude of your legacy when Jesus reveals it to you one day.
I hope you don’t use that one scripture in James to define how you look at your life. James was writing that letter to the entire twelve tribes of Israel. That is a large group of people. Not every statement he made was meant to be applied to everyone reading it. If it was, then you would have to also take into your theology of yourself his other statements such as:
“…you commit murder.”(Written to those whose are so driven by selfishness that they do anything to get what they want)
“Adulterers!”(Written to those who pray to God only get what they lust after for themselves)
“Come now, you rich people and wail for the miseries that are coming to you.”(Written to those rich people who oppress their workers to be able to enjoy a luxurious life for themselves.)
“For you are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” (Written to those who made plans apart from God’s will and then boasted about their plans to exalt themselves in the eyes of men.)
These are all very good warnings from James because we all could fall into these traps if we do not abide in Christ.
Even more important than the works I do for Him, is the connection I have with Him. That was the point of my dream. The real treasure is my relationship with God! That relationship is the journey and the destination of this Christian life. That is the goal and the WAY to achieve the goal. That is everything! That will endure forever! Everything that flows out of my life as a result of my relationship with Christ will endure!
I do not know much about interpreting dreams, though I try to interpret my own. Also I’ve heard when we try to interpret someone elses we dream we are seeing through our own experience, so it is hard to be accurate. With that being said, what comes to mind with your dream, is maybe you feel you have to work hard, painstakingly hard (on the mummy), to get what you want. Maybe you don’t believe something of worth can just be given to you (the necklace) or maybe you don’t believe you deserve it unless you have worked diligently for it. Failing to recognize that maybe you work hard on a, b, and c with no rewards, when D had fallen into your lap it
Whoops, wasn’t finished – it seems like you didn’t work hard for it, but actually you work hard on so many other things and “D” was the pay off.
Separately if you want to be a writer you can always publish your own book using createspace.com Marketing is difficult, but at least you would have something out there. I’ve self published 11 of my own books, but it’s not a living yet. Good luck 🙂
Thank you for your insight! That seems very true to my life, thinking I have to work hard yet finding it hard to accept the gifts. God is so amazing and His gifts just blow my mind! THat is wonderful that you have published 11 books! I am thinking about self publishing or assisted publishing. Bless you!
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