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home : religion : inspirational reflections September 23, 2017

9/13/2017 1:02:00 PM
We Dream & We Grieve

Dr. Stanley Spence, Pastor
First Baptist Church, Lincolnton, N.C.

Grieving and dreaming seem to be at the opposite ends of the spectrum; and yet, they have more in common than we think. When we engage in grief, we are usually looking back over the life we shared with the loved one who is gone. We remember the past; and yet, by our faith they are in our future. We will see our loved ones again according to our faith in the future of our existence. Instead of being drawn to an unchanging experience of the past, we should consider the likelihood of what the future will be; and for those whose faith is in Christ, we will know that our loved ones will be in our lives again at some point.

For those who dream dreams of what could be, they are usually future focused, not so much encumbered by the past. To dream of what can be seems to be more associated with the younger members of our world rather than those who are acquainted with grief--the older members of our community. The dreamers tend to pull those who grieve back into the living, unfolding possibilities of life. The grieving can cause the dreamers to think more deeply about the outcome of the dreams from an ecological perspective. The ecology of ideas is another way of saying: beware the law of unintended consequences. Being acquainted with grief reminds us of the importance of standing before God in “faith”--not “works”--as our hope. It is therefore more about the steady confidence of getting it right. Dreamers bring passion and ideas to their cause as well as energy. Every project and every dream could benefit from both.

There’s a show on the DIY (do it yourself) channel called ‘Reno My Reno,’ In Dreamers get into a project of house renovation and quickly find they are overwhelmed. The experts come in and fix what they have done. Usually, there is a long period of time being stuck in their present situation prior to their getting a plan and working out what the homeowners had originally wanted. In this case the home owner is stuck in a combination of the dreamer and the griever. They lack knowledge and passion.

This is the very wisdom of our working together. Bringing knowledge and passion to a dream usually comes from two different groups. But if we can blend the two, it can become very successful. Dreaming dreams, wise plans and passionate execution can bring a church to more effective ministry. Listening to the still small voice of God can guide us through the challenges. More importantly, it will remind us why we are called the body of Christ--not the parts of Christ. We all need each other on this journey we call life.

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