Last week I had a dream. A real, true blue, “while I was sleeping” dream. I welcome your interpretations.
The dream begins with me packing a bunch of stuff into a big back pack. Heavy stuff like books, boxes, I think there was even a candelabra that I had to fit in there. I didn’t like that all this stuff was being jammed into the back pack but I felt strongly that I had to fit it all in. I didn’t even like most of the stuff but I was moving from one place to another and I felt a great pressure to bring it all with me.
Once I had loaded the back pack I struggled to lift it onto my back. My legs quivered under the weight. Eventually I secured the big back pack to my body with several straps and such and put a few last things that I didn’t want getting squished into a smaller bag that I carried in my hands. I then began to walk.
After I had walked a bit I ran into somebody on the street. While we visited the weight of the pack was ever present on my mind and body. Finishing the conversation we parted ways. I walked a little farther only to realize that at some point during my conversation on the street I had put down my small bag of valuable goods . Still quivering under the weight of the heavy pack I retraced my steps and luckily found my small valuable bag where I had left it. Turning around again I marched towards my destination.
The same pattern repeats itself two more times (distraction, put down the important bag, realize later what I’ve done, retrace my steps, all the while struggling to support the weight of this big heavy back pack of books and candles).
The final part of my dream takes place on this epic stair case that I struggle to reach the top of…only to realize that I had forgotten that little bag again!
I woke up from the dream walking back down those stairs. I never did take that heavy back pack off.
So tell me, WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
“Come to me you who are weary, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Jesus Christ)
OK… I’ll take a try…
The journey you are going on is your life that began at your baptism. Baptism happened not only as a gift, but a calling to a life of ministry and service to God. As a member of the body of Christ, in your experience in the church, moving through all of your life experiences, you gathered an amazingly large amount of gifts and tools to use in the Kingdom.
Out of these large things you have chosen a few things that you know to be most important for quick access… like bear spray hiking, it needs to be ready on quick draw or there is no point in having it.
The challenge you face is that you have received so much, and have so much to offer, that you never know where to start, and what needs to be in the quick draw. You live in doubt that some of the most precious gifts you have received from the church will ever be used by anyone buy yourself, and this burdens you because you know their value and can’t let them go, but at the same time, they are the kind of things that people can’t easily receive unless they go deeply into the Christian tradition with you. But, by never trusting people to take the gifts before you think they are ready, you only give out small bits, and continue to carry the load yourself. Like at camp when you assume the camper can’t carry their weight.
3 times this has or will happen when you hand out the simple things to the people that might have handled more, and only afterward will you realize that you should have allowed them more authority.
The epic staircase is all of life. You ascend and descend constantly handing out the small gifts that people can handle but, wearily, you continue to pull the load yourself.
Was ist das?
Trust your Christian community with the power and authority and responsibility to be the people they are called to be, and you will be light on your feet and an inspiration to all of those who carry the depth and richness of the tradition with you… it’s not your burden alone to bear.
(Sort of a fortune cookie ending I’m afraid… this is my first attempt at dream interpretation…)
Cool interpretation Sean.
Gives me much to consider.
I was thinking the other day if the Backpack that was so heavy was some things that the Church has said were essential, but too soon become just a load that is to be carried and never truly used. While the small pack is that which is most essential and effective in continuing the journey (staircase) and it is from that small pack that true sharing proceeds. If we share the essential it will come back to us as our journey again and again turns back on itself.
As someone wiser than I once said, “Keep the main thing the main thing.”