In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
From the mountains of faith
To the river so deep
I must be lookin' for something
Something sacred i lost
(Billy Joel, River of Dreams)
I have always thought that Billy Joel--knowingly or unknowingly--hit the nail on the head when he wrote and recorded his song, River of Dreams. It is in our dreams that we go walking in our sleep, and God talks to us. Joel's song is so full of spiritual symbolism that it is almost enough to make a mystic choke to death! If you have never heard the song, go to this link: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hSq4B_zHqPM.
In a wonderful book, and one that I would consider to be a spiritual classic--Dreams, God's Forgotten Language--John Sanford writes a discourse that challenges the followers of Jesus . . . that challenges the spiritual, but not religious . . . to consider the power of communication between people and God that occurs in dreams. Hey! God is still speaking . . . but, we are sleeping through the conversations.
Oh, I know what you are saying, "I don't dream!" Sorry . . . everyone dreams. Some of us are better at remembering our dreams than others. Some of us take medication that effects how well we remember our dreams. Some of us are so exhausted that we sleep so deep that we don't remember our dreams. But the fact is, we all dream. Science has proven it over and over again . . . we all dream. And, with each dream, if we allow ourselves the privilege of remembering, discerning, and praying about our dreams will find that God speaks to us through the Spirit.
The wife is a vivid dreamer . . . she dreams all of the time. Me, I dream all of the time, but over the years, due to medications I take, I do not remember my dreams as easily as she does. I have to play tricks on my body if I want to remember my dreams. One of the best tricks, though my bladder would not agree, is to drink a lot of water before going to bed. Thanks to my TB syndrome (Tiny Bladder), I usually wake up in the middle of the night--during prime REM sleep, and have to take a leak. That usually means I wake up while I am dreaming. Then I have to wake up the wife--which she loves, tell her what I am dreaming, go take a leak, and hope that in the morning that between the two of us we can remember the dream. Since she is such a proponent of dreams in her spiritual direction, she usually remembers and quizzes me about the nocturnal ramblings.
Of course, we then do the exercise. We record the dream on paper . . . write it just as we remember it and do not change any of the wording that we use (again, the Spirit at work . . . plus, God has a great sense of humor and loves word play) . . . ask a lot of questions about what is going on in our lives, etc. . . . and, we ask questions about what the images represent to us (because images in the dreams are symbols of deeper meanings . . . people are not who they are in dreams, but what they represent). Then we discuss what we think the dream means . . . what is God saying to us. And, we also remind one another that no one can interpret our dreams for us . . . only we can do that for ourselves even though others might have some great insight for us.
If you are really interested in dreams . . . in God talking to us through dreams . . . I would recommend that you begin to explore this topic. Read books like John Sandford's Dreams: God's Forgotten Language and others. Google the topic . . . I imagine that there would be at least three or four entries on the topic. Check out the website Dream Moods (http://www.dreammoods.com). There is actually a ton of stuff out there to get you started. But, the fact is, God does speak to us . . . in the middle of the night when we go walking in our sleep.
I had a dream once . . . I was riding a train . . . as I looked out the window of the train I saw a teepee and a big old tent. For several days this image bugged me . . . I wasn't sure what the message was. So, I talked to a friend . . . shared the dream . . . and, answered the questions she asked. Primarily she asked what was going on in my life. Oh, my goodness! Anything and everything was going on in my life . . . I was under a lot of pressure . . . the stress was unbelievable. Then she said, "You're two tents . . . you're too tense." BOOM! She was right . . . God was telling me I was too tense . . . too stressed out.
Apparently sleep is not as restful as we are led to believe . . . some of us are doing a whole lot of exercising. It is in the middle of the night that many of us go walking in our sleep . . . go walking in our dreams. We go down to the river . . . the river--such a strong and powerful biblical symbol of life and hope and dreams . . . searching, searching for something we have lost. Dreams really are not simple night time entertainment . . . there is something sacred about dreams . . . if we take the time to consider them as communication from God.
I miss that I cannot remember my dreams as well as I used to . . . but, I still walk in my sleep . . . the wife will vouch for that!