Dreams fascinate me. The meaning behind the crazy stories a brain makes up are truly mystifying and, sometimes, if we pay attention and ask for assistance in deciphering their meaning, we find there’s a message in the ‘madness.’
I read a book one time written by 2 Christian psychologists who approached dream interpretation from its biblical perspective. They said that, if you remember a dream, you should consider that God may be trying to send you a message. Maybe He’s trying to tell you something for your benefit or the benefit of someone you love. They said, and I’m really paraphrasing here to the point of not really sharing what they said at all, but that everything in your dream is symbolic of something real in your waking hours. It’s kind of like a Fellini film where a little person dressed as a nun represents the Church! They also said that any sort of mode of transportation in a dream is your life.
There are, of course, a few well-known stories about dreams people had in the Bible. One is about the Old Testament Joseph of the “Technicolor Dream Coat” fame, who dreamed many amazing dreams and who could interpret the dreams of Pharaoh. And then there is the New Testament Joseph whose feast day we celebrate today in my faith, Joseph, the foster father of Jesus and Mary’s husband. Such a “righteous man,” the Bible tells us, one who does the will of His Heavenly Father, just as Mary has done, just as Jesus will.
Sometimes our dreams are just nutty; they don’t mean anything and they don’t change our life. But others are telling us something instructive for our own good or the good of someone else. I had a dream last night that included looking for my dog. I was preoccupied with something else (I can’t recall what any longer), but it wasn’t important. But then I had to chase after my dog who had escaped from the house and was running away! I ran after him and scooped him up, even though he was fighting me. And then I placed the wriggling mass of fur into the car and closed the door swiftly behind him. I proceeded to climb in behind the wheel and back out of the driveway going I know not where. Although, in my dream, I certainly seemed to know the destination.
A few years ago I learned that dogs in art represent faith as they are often depicted in Renaissance religious paintings for that very purpose. Fido, the name that was often given to dogs in cartoons and comic strips back in the day, was chosen for that very reason. Fido is Latin and basically means, “I have faith.” Domesticated dogs, family pets, are thought of as faithful to their owners and that seems to have been the case for centuries. People back in the early to middle 20th century were aware of this art history, evidently. Or at least someone was and the name caught on. So, the dog, in a dream may well represent faith in God.
And here he was, my little dog, running away while I was preoccupied with something trivial! But I saw him and I caught him and put him in my vehicle which, as I shared above, is my life in dreams. So, I put faith back in my life and then I purposefully drove away! In the dream I knew where I was headed and had no issue with taking Fido along with me.
Could God be telling me that I need to stop worrying and fussing over things that are trivial and don’t matter in the vast scheme of eternity? And that when I got into my car (my life) and drove away to an unknown destination, that reminds me that God is with me no matter where I go in life? And so I can go confidently and without hesitation?
I don’t have any idea if that’s a proper interpretation of my dream. I don’t have a clue if my dream really meant anything. But I do like what I’ve come up with! Although, I would say, not that God is with me, but I am with Him, going wherever He directs me to unknown destinations. I do so confidently and without hesitation. Or I should, if I have not been. Do you have dreams that are confounding but that you recall very vividly? Try looking at them with more of an allegorical view, using more of your imagination and less of your pragmatic mind. Sure, the seeming nonsense in your dream could be the result of something you ate, or it could be a message that lifts you up and encourages you.
If you want to take the message of my dream interpretation as your own encouragement today, I am happy to share! Bon Voyage, as you travel the roads of this world in your mode of transportation, whatever that may be. Maybe it’s not a donkey like Joseph is depicted as leading along to Bethlehem with Mary on its back. Or like the donkey Jesus rode into Jerusalem. It’s still your life and it’s a gift God gave you. He loved you into being knows you intimately, knows your heart and loves you unconditionally forever. Oh, and don’t forget to take Fido with you! If he’s run away, chase after him and bring him along. It makes the ride ever so much more pleasant until you reach your destination. And then you can let him run free!