Living into one’s own future happens when one has a dream.  Without a dream, one  stagnates, as if  living in the doldrums of the Bermuda Triangle.  Those who live without a dream, or at least think they do,  are immobilized.  With no direction, no hope, no place to go, they  enter into a paralysis,  living  a zombie-like state of existence.  They become the living dead.

The lack of a dream  invariably comes from a lack of reflection and prayer.  God has given each person a purpose and it is from that purpose that the dream appears.  But, if one is not in prayer,  in the Word, receiving  the  sacrament of Holy Communion, and   engaged in reflective conversations with sisters and brothers in Christ, one  may  not discern their  call  from God. Proverbs 29:18 (KJV) states, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.  The vision referred to in this text is a prophecy from God, being brought forth by one of God’s prophets.  The vision, then, comes from God.  When one avoids God in the process of catching the vision or the dream, one may end up in a very dry place.

God does have a way of stirring the pot, which in Pivot Point language is called the Period of Restlessness .  This  period of being  being unsettled  grows from a sense of knowing that life is not what it could be.  It  brings  a time of questing and searching.  In this period of restlessness,  one can slide into paralysis or indecision, while sinking into the mire of hopelessness and despair, or one can engage in reflection, discerning prayer, and conversation with others as ways in which one hears the call of God and the beginning of the dream. 

 Scripture  shows that God can break through, even for those who refuse to discern.  Think of Moses, Jonah, Gideon, Paul, and others, who wanted to either create their own  dream or  to run from the dream given to them by God.  But, even as God breaks through, the one  spoken to by God ends up in dialogue and discernment with God that eventually leads to action.

So, how does one navigate the waters of this  period of restlessness? 

First, one recognizes this period of life for what it is.  Embrace the turbulence as part of the journey.  Turbulence produces opportunities for growth by causing one to assess and evaluate what has been, with an eye on what is yet to come.  Those who resist embracing the turbulence live in fear of the unknown, rather than with hope for the future into which God is leading. 

When God invited the people of Israel to leave Babylon to return home, there was great fear of the turbulence that was to come.  Many of them had never been to Jerusalem, and it was home for them in name only.  God calms theIr fears with these words, “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.” (Jeremiah 29: 11, NRSV)

Second, learn to sit in the Word.  Listen as God speaks through the written Word.  Listen as God speaks the word through others.  Learn to hear the  voice of God that provides a steadying and safe place for reflections, as  God works to bring insight and understanding.

Third, learn to sit in the silence of prayer.  One does not need to  tell  God what to do.  Let one’s requests be made known to God, with the understanding that God edits and that God’s will is done.  Sit in silence while leaning in to listen to the voice of God.

DogListen for the ways that God speaks to God’s people and do not ignore what is said in The Lutheran Confessions, which reminds us that God’s personal word to an individual can come through the mutual conversation with sisters and brothers who know the Lord and who know the one seeking direction.  The RCA logo of the dog hearing his master’s voice is  an appropriate logo for those in discernment.  Listening to the voice of the Master is the call to discipleship and following the Way of Christ.

In Rodger’s and Hammerstein’s musical, “South Pacific,” the character Bloody Mary sings the song “Happy Talk”  in which she says: “You gotta have a dream; if you don’t have a dream,  how you gonna have a dream come true?”

Over twenty years ago, I began working with Herb Brokering, learning how to lead pilgrimage in East Germany.  When we landed in Berlin, we  spent  the first two nights at a retreat house in Zehlendorf, a beautiful house in the city with lovely gardens in the back. 

From those stays, I dreamt of such a place in the Twin Cities, a house that could be a place for retreat, rest and prayer.  I’ve never had the money to purchase such a house  or the time to pursue it.  However, the dream stayed with me.

As I have moved into a new chapter of my life, I continue to pray for discernment and how God might use me and my gifts for ministry.  Out of nowhere  came an invitation to serve on the Board of Directors for Venite Ministries.  Read this description from their web page:

“The Plan:

We currently intend to open a full prayer retreat center in Minneapolis, with individual hermitage rooms and space to hold the many class offerings.

It will have a view of the city, a garden, and a sunroom on the roof. A retreat center in the city will provide many the opportunity to take a day, overnight, or extended retreat, without the long drive.”

Well, I honestly didn’t get it at first and kept focused on my promise to myself to never again serve on a Board of Directors.  Finally, I heard God say…..”HELLO! Do you remember the dream?”  Wow, twenty years later the dream begins to become a reality.  If I hadn’t been given that dream,  how would I have  recognized this as the time when it was to come true?  The journey goes on.


1)  What ideas or “dreams” has God laid before you?

2)  As you read and meditate upon Scripture, what do hear becoming God’s  call to you?

3)  How can you create an attitude and a space for listening to  the Master’s voice?

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