I'm not sure where it came from.
Maybe it was the result of growing up with a strong sense of Swedish Baptist reverence for duty.
Maybe it's just because it was ingrained in my sensibilities, like the importance of brushing your teeth twice a day and eating whole grains.
Maybe it's just because I was too scared.
But whatever the reason, I recently realized I've lived most of my life afraid to dream. Afraid to rock the boat. And if I'm honest with myself, I think somewhere deep down I didn't deserve to get to dream things.
Leave the dreaming up to God, you just need to live in obedience-- that's what I told myself.
I think it's because dreams are risky and take work. And when done well, they require roots that run deep in the Word, and the humility to be wrong, repent, and move on forward.
To be a dreamer, you need to have a clear understanding of God's grace.
I'm not sure if I've ever had a good understand of God's gracious character. I've always subconsciously imagined God like my middle school Russian math teachers; there's right answer to the problems and puzzles of life, and if you don't get it right, you may be publicly harangued for your incompetence.
But that's not God. And he doesn't want us to leave all the dreaming to him... at least I don't think.
I believe he longs to dream with us. Yes, we need to live our lives in obedience to his will and call, but why does that have to rule out the imagination he's given us? It takes so much more courage to invite God into the process of our dreams, to stop and listen to his voice, take his direction, and to honor him in every step.
I believe God not only allows, but also loves when we dream. It opens a frontier of possibility, a canvas for his power to work miracles through us.
And if we're listening, it allows us to nestle closer to the heart of God and hear his voice.
We just need to be brave enough to dream.