Written by Daniel Hazard
"King Nebuchadnezzar said to Daniel, 'Are you able to tell me the dream that I have seen and its interpretation?' Daniel answered the king, 'No wise men, enchanters, magicians, or diviners can show to the king the mystery that the king is asking, but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries.'"
Would you classify yourself as a "dreamer"?
If so, you've probably learned not to casually broadcast that fact at cocktail parties, or anywhere else for that matter. You know all too well our world has one basic message for dreamers: Get a life. For many people in this excessively pragmatic time, "dreamer" equals "slacker."
A biblical dreamer, such as Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Solomon, or Daniel, as well as a few gentile kings, is a dreamer's dream. People took them seriously. Their dreams were not viewed as escapes but windows into the heart of reality. Dreamers were esteemed because both the dream and the interpretation were gifts of God. But some dreamers who did not know the Lord, like King Nebuchadnezzar, needed a little help sorting out the details.
Enter Daniel, a dreamer with not only the ability to interpret dreams, but the ability to reveal a dream before it was revealed to him! While Daniel could have easily used his powers of discernment to score a top spot in the king's cabinet, he decided instead to promote the God of heaven even as he forecasted trouble for Babylon. Daniel still ended up with a pretty good job but God got all the credit. Daniel proves a good and faithful dreamer is nobody's fool.
In fact, dreamers might be the most practical and useful people on earth. Volunteerism pioneer Harriet Naylor, better known as "Hat," once said, "We need imaginative inspiration to dream of what could be through all the implications of what is now." Without dreamers we are practically stuck and doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past.
One week from today we will celebrate one of the great dreamers of our time: the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., whose dream still defines what our country yearns to become. A dream, as he said, "deeply rooted in the American dream" - but the roots go even deeper into God's dream for all people to know, trust and serve the Lord.
Children of God, dream on.
Lord, like Daniel may my dreams be guided by your wisdom and power and be filled with your justice and truth. Amen.
Order Spring Cleaning: 2013 Lent Devotionals - new from the Stillspeaking Writers' Group and other favorite UCC writers. Lent starts Feb. 13.