Joseph had the dream as a young man, his brothers and family bowing down to them. It was a true dream. But never did he imagine the journey that would bring him to the reality of that dream. Isn’t this so often the way? Betrayal and sorrow often bring the dream.
Genesis 42:8-9Although Joseph recognized his brothers, they did not recognize him. Then he remembered his dreams about them and said to them, “You are spies! You have come to see where our land is unprotected.”
If the brothers hadn’t sold Joseph into slavery, then he couldn’t be in Egypt when Pharaoh had his dream to interpret it. If Joseph hadn’t been there, Egypt would not have prepared for famine in the same way that they did. And not only Jacob’s family would have been lost to famine, but scores and scores of people would have died.
Some will say God turned a bad thing into a good thing. And surely, that does happen. But on the grander scale, the big big picture that God sees, it appears, in hindsight, that achieving some goals (or dreams) have an arduous path. Peter Rollins wrote a book, “The Fidelity of Betrayal” which examines and expands on this concept of loss/death/betrayal preceding joy/renewal/transformation.
Some of us are lose the dream when the going gets tough: that would be me. I see myself so clearly now in this loss of confidence and direction. I look around and there is absolutely nothing that appears valuable in my quest for the dream. I am broke or caught up in a band of busyness. How could any of this end up at the dream? And the longer it goes on, the more doubt I have in the dream at all.
I gave so many dreams because they didn’t come to fruition soon enough. I judged the time and found it lacking. So I’d build another dream and another dream and yet another. Looking for hints that one or the other dream was coming true. I was getting there. I was reaching it.
But no, the dream (the picture in my head of what the dream would look like) kept moving further away.
I am sorry now. I ask forgiveness of God for my lack of faith and fortitude. I didn’t trust the Way. I didn’t want to be a Joseph who had to be sold into slavery, wrongly accused, thrown into jail, and languish there until the moment was right. I wanted to create those moments. I wanted to control the timing. I wanted the dream my way or no way.
And so, I got my way after all. I got none of those dreams.
That’s sad except for one truth. There is another dream before me. I am, at the least, that resilient. I am not dreamless. But now, even at this age, after so many years, I can understand the importance of keeping on toward the dream, of trusting God no matter my circumstances, of believing in a future that holds the moments God creates.
I will believe.