What Happens When We Dream and a Tiny Correction

Alice laughed. “There’s no use trying,” she said. “One can’t believe impossible things.”

“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast…” ― Lewis Carroll

I’ve been feeling just a wee bit sorry for Newt Gingrich lately. Just a wee bit, mind you. It seems he is being poked fun at for calling himself a “visionary” after publicly sharing a dream to establish a colony on the moon.
“I come at space from a standpoint of a romantic belief that it really is part of our destiny,” Mr. Gingrich said in his speech last Wednesday.
While this proclamation may not have been his best political move and it may have caused some raised eyebrows, I’m feeling a little conflicted about joining in this particular criticism (aren’t there enough other areas we could focus on?). After all, I try to encourage just this type of dreaming in my children whenever I can.
The strange thing that I’ve noticed is that kids don’t seem to have a problem with this. It’s in the grown-up world that we stumble over big dreams. I think that, maybe, dreaming is something that—rather than “growing out of”—we have lost. We stop doing it, and so that ability grows weaker and weaker. Our brains stop reinforcing the neural pathways that promote creativity. We don’t have time for it, it’s impractical, it’s silly…the list of reasons why we should use our minds for other things is endless. But…
I wonder if there are lists of reasons we should be using our imaginations more?
We sometimes think that imagination is cognitively easy because children can use it better than adults. In fact, imagination is arduous and practical. People who possess imaginative talents can say, “If I were you, I would do this…” Or they can think, “I’m doing it this way now, but if I tried to do it that way, things might go faster.” These double-scope and counterfactual abilities come in quite handy in real life.”—David Brooks in The Social Animal
This morning, my youngest son came down the stairs tying his robe. With sleep still in his eyes, he plopped down on the chair and proclaimed, “You are looking at an amazingly amazing magician!”
He proceeded to tell me about a dream he had had in the night about using magic to make a recliner chair disappear—in front of the whole school, of course. And then he went back upstairs to record the dream. He’s keeping a dream journal.
I can’t even remember the last time I let a dream—the sleeping kind—amaze me.
Ellen Langer, in her book Mindfulness, says that adults often lose creativity because we are outcome oriented and this tends to deaden a playful approach to life.
Our tendency to focus on outcome…narrows our self-image. When we envy other people’s assets, accomplishments, or characteristics, it is often because we are making a faulty comparison. We may be looking at the results of their efforts rather than at the process they went through on the way…
But, what if the outcomes we see are not the ones we should be focusing on? What would happen if we let ourselves dream? Create? I wonder what might happen to our faith if we exercised our imaginations every day?
If our imaginations are broadened enough, something that seems unbelievable to us can seem possible; and we can come to our prayers expectantly…–Luci Shaw in Breath for the Bones.
How can we respond in faith if we do not move beyond what can be seen with our eyes? If we let ourselves dream, what could we do? Because we are human, when we dream we will make mistakes. We will fall down. We will be wounded. But, just as Jacob, if we hold on for the blessing through the struggle, we will be touched by God.
When we dream, faith can transform.
I am not packing my bags for the moon, yet, friends. But, I want to look deeper…see beneath what I see…grab on to the Real. Some might say that makes me a visionary. That’s what faith-eyes can do. 
*******
Because I am human, I made a wee mistake in the original scripture cards I linked up earlier this week.  Seems I originally left out four verses (James 1: 23-26).  Please forgive? My eyes must have been all mixed up with words and dates and my double check somehow missed it. Thank you so much for your grace. But, if you would so like, here is the PDF to print out scripture memory cards for the book of James.

I used the Avery label 5388 to make them.  This should print out index card size cards with perforated edges of Avery 5388. That way you won’t have to do any cutting.

Comments

  1. says

    This, of course, is the great blessing of grandchildren….after having relived these years once, with our own children, we get another crack at it.

    Imagining with children. Nothing is better.

    But why do I need a little one to really let my imagination fly?

  2. says

    Laura–this is SO spot on. I’ve been in Elementary Education for over 25 years and it just makes me sad how we’ve lost the child like ness that children NEED, that God gave them, to pretend to dream.
    And us ‘old’ ones–the Word promises that old men will dream dreams. God, bring it on.

    Wonderful post!

  3. says

    Some dreams might be better kept to oneself especially about sending a colony to the moon! Other dreams and hopes although they may seem impossible can be held and nurtured until they are born. Let your young one keep his journal. It will be something that perhaps can be published at some later date!

  4. says

    Glad you aren’t packing. We don’t pack “bags” for the moon, Laura. Too pedestrian. Our dreams ought to be more “amazingly amazing” than some carry-on.

    So … what will you fit your dreams into?

  5. says

    Laura – I adore this post – and I’d rather be having a conversation with you about this than “commenting” –
    but since that is only a dream, I at least want to say thank you for stirring up some buried imaginations in this aging woman. It was profound.

  6. says

    How wonderful that your son is recording his dreams and your post is right where God is calling me to…oh me, of slowly-growing faith, but yet I sense Him calling me to dream…Thank you, Laura 🙂

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