Today’s scripture reading is taken from Genesis 41:15-16.
And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I have had a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it. I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.” 16 Joseph answered Pharaoh, “It is not I; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer.”
This is the word of the Lord.
Life Must Be Lived Forward
We all need dreams to live a meaningful life. When you have dreams you tend to look ahead. That’s what dreams do. In life, you’ve got to always look ahead. You shouldn’t just look back, and you shouldn’t just drown in your own daily living, worries and anxieties and things like that. But I believe that a good life always looks ahead, you see what’s coming. Kierkegaard said this, “life can be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.” I think that’s a very profound statement. When you look back, you can learn a lot of things, but your life should be lived forwards. To live your life forwards, you have to look ahead. To look ahead, you need to have dreams. Dreams help you do that.
Dreams Are Beyond Our Reach
There’s a characteristic of dreams. You have to understand. Dreams are not easily reachable. Dreams are often beyond our reach. In that sense dreams are very different from plans. Plans are also about what’s ahead of you, but you can control them. Often times, dreams are beyond your control. You cannot even imagine the result of your dreams, and many times you feel that it is impossible to achieve dreams because it’s so far ahead of you.
Imagine the dream of Martin Luther King Jr., where you’re judged not by skin color, but by your character? How can you imagine a world where there is no racism, where everyone just lives peacefully? Imagine the dream of Isaiah, for example. Isaiah said this, “lions and lambs lying together and the little kids will put their hands into the den of vipers and no one will be hurt.” How can you imagine a world where no one hurts each other, where everyone just loves each other and helps each other? How can you imagine the dream of Isaiah? It is beyond our reach.
Why Do We Dream?
It is very difficult to imagine our dream. So we have this question. When dreams are so hard to be reached or realized. Why do you have dreams? Regardless, dreams will not be realized. Why do you have dreams? Maybe that’s why many people find dreams futile, no use, and they say negative things about dreams. Living in clouds, vanity, lots of ideas, but no action, that kind of thing, so they give up on dreams altogether. I think dreams are very important still. Dreams are hard to imagine, and it’s hard to be realized, but there is power in dreaming. You know what that power is? Dreams have power to draw your life to that dream. That is the power. When you have dreams, your life automatically is drawn to them. Dreams are like a jet stream where they control the direction and movement of the wind. In the same way dreams set and control the direction of your life, dreams shape who you are and dreams shape your life. That is what dreaming does. Even though it’s not easily accessible, easily reachable, dreams continuously move you into certain directions. If you have no dreams it’s almost like living without direction of life. When you have dreams, then you will have clear direction in your life.
Dreams Are Given By God
I also realized that dreams are not something that I can make up. I can come up with all kinds of dreams, but they are doctrines, they are vanity. I realized that real dreams are given to you. It’s not something that you make. Dreams are not what I choose. Dreams are given by God. Dreams have a lot to do with your relationship with God. When we think about dreams, we can think about Joseph, dreams are not luxuries, dreams can be quite difficult.
This morning I was talking with a KSM member, a young woman and she said, just this morning on the way to church she talked to her husband about her dream. “My dreams are luxury. I’m going through so much. So dreams are luxury.” But dreams are not luxuries. Dreams can make your life very difficult.
Like in Joseph’s case, if he didn’t have dreams, he didn’t have to leave his home, but because of his dreams he was hated by his brothers and they even tried to kill him, and then they sent him away into Egypt. Ultimately, because of his dream, he was able to save his family and established the foundation of the nation. Israel. That’s what Joseph’s dreams were all about. Joseph believed that it’s not something that he came up with, that dream was a dream he received from God. So often, there are a lot of dreams that you make up, but there are dreams that God gives you and you know that has a lot to do with what God wants to do with your life.
Dreams Are Within You
As we enter into deeper relationships with God, this is what I realize. Dreams are moving within you. Dreams are being formed within you and dreams are given birth within you. These dreams have everything to do with what God wants to do through you. It is important to think about our dreams because they shape your existence. You all have dreams within you. They’re just not discovered yet, but you all have dreams within you. When you met God, dreams were created already, deeply buried within you and maybe not discovered, but you all have dreams. Or maybe you put them aside as unimportant because you’re so busy living your life.
When you sit down and carefully think about them, you’ll be able to find dreams within you. Don’t try to force your dreams, but listen to your authentic existence and dreams will come to you, they will come alive. Then you will be able to live out those dreams and you, your life will move forward.
Dreams Are For Others
Also sometimes, dreams, even if you find them, there are many obstacles and challenges for these dreams being realized, but just because of challenges and difficulties, do not throw away your dreams, they are precious. Just because life is hard and difficult, do not throw away your dreams, or do not replace your dreams with your ambition. Personal ambition is just for yourself, dreams are for other people. Dreams are for the community. Dreams are for the country. All these great people had dreams. Martin Luther King Jr. and Isaiah, all these people had dreams. As they met God these dreams were created within them and they lived out those dreams. No matter how difficult life was to them they lived out those dreams. They are great people.
Just because your life is busy and you’re having a hard time right now, don’t throw away your dreams. Sit down and carefully think about what your dreams are, especially for young people. Most of you are young. Don’t ever throw away your dreams. Start learning to practice dreaming everyday. Practice dreaming. Go and buy a notebook. If you don’t have money come to me. I’ll buy you a notebook. Buy a notebook and start writing down what your dreams are, what your your dreams for life are, and then live them out one by one. Wonderful things will happen. You will start seeing how God works in your life through your dreams.
Let Us Rise
Life without dreams is like life without hope. My friends, let us rise from our sleep and let us live our dreams. Let us bring out those dreams that you used to have and live out those dreams. You will be able to do wonderful things to each other, for the world. Yes, the world that we live in is very harsh, difficult. A lot of fights, animosity, division, all of these things are what we are experiencing every day, but we have noble dreams. Noble dreams for justice, noble dreams for peace, noble dreams for harmony and reconciliation.
Let us humbly come before God and ask God to give us dreams so that we may live out the wonderful life that God has given to us. Dreams are a gift from God to you.