The other night I dreamed that I was on stage in full costume ready for the play to start and I couldn’t remember any of my lines. This is a recurring dream for me, and is much like the common dream of taking a test and not knowing any of the answers, or that the test was in a totally foreign language.
The reason that I have the drama dream rather than the test dream is because I spent many moments on stage in my life as an actor. My unconscious (soul) is taking something that means a lot to me in my waking life and using it to reflect moments of anxiety that I must be experiencing. My soul sends me a message to which I should pay attention.
John Sanford says that dreams are God’s forgotten language in his book with the same title. The image of God is stamped on our souls, and from that image emanates messages from God. Most “modern” people laugh off these nightly messages as the product of something we ate, or simply silly products of our sleep. Mystics throughout the ages, and distinguished psychiatrist Carl Jung along with other depth psychologists, however, see dreams as special messages from our psyche (Greek name for soul). Messages from our God-likeness.
So I reflect on the message from God about my anxiety. On one level, I can identify precisely what made me have such an anxiety dream—a conversation I had with someone the day before. But such messages are seldom only from the most obvious level. As I delve more deeply into this dream, I discover that I am too dependent on my own resources, and not on God’s providence as I approach retirement age. I am surrounded by cultural messages everyday that remind me that I haven’t saved enough, that I don’t have a large enough estate, that I need more insurance, and so on. I can become overwhelmed by these messages.
So I can listen to God’s message from my soul that says, “you silly little creature, you. You stand there on stage and think you are in control of everything, as everybody watches you and listens to all your words of wisdom. Well, if I take away your words, your control, where does that leave you?” It leave me in a state of anxiety. The message from God tells me to trust him more, trust his provisions through church, family and friends.
The fact that this is a recurring dream signals that I still have a long way to go to trusting in God’s providence over my own actions on the stage of life. So my soul will keep sending me the message until I get it.
What messages are you receiving from your God-image, stamped on your soul?