From Becce Bettridge
Becce will be leading CFDM’s Spring Workshop – DreamWork 2.0: Learning to “Sleep-on-it.”
Date and Time: Saturday, March 23, 2019 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Place: Emmanuel Presbyterian Church, Bothell, WA
What did you dream last night? I dreamt about a ten-year-old boy (who turned out to be named “James”), that had been shrink-wrapped (because he was so difficult to deal with) and left in the attic of my new house by the former owner. YIKES! So, was that crazy dream a result of the spicy chicken cacciatore I had for dinner, or does God and/or my unconscious, have some important (but strangely presented) message for me?
Most of us in the western, protestant, tradition have never heard much about the role of dreams in Christian spirituality. Not many sermons are preached or classes taught on this important topic. Yet, in Scripture, we find that God often uses dreams to give a perspective or remove barriers to correctly interpreting and applying his Word. Historically, people of faith from St. Augustine to Eugene Peterson affirmed God’s presence in, and leading through, dreams. In modern times, sleep laboratories have demonstrated that everyone dreams one to two hours each night. The average person sleeping for eight hours a night will dream about one to two hours of that time in a sleep level called “alpha sleep.” During this level of sleep, we have what is called Rapid Eye Movement (REM). Sleep researchers discovered that if a person is awakened every time REM begins, preventing her/him from dreaming, that after about three nights the individual will begin to show signs of having a nervous breakdown. “Clearly,” says dream work specialist Steve Stutz, “dreams are an inner release mechanism which helps provide us with emotional balance and maintain our sanity. Dreams can be considered guardians of our mental and emotional well-being.”
One of the foundational precepts of spiritual direction is that God chooses to communicate with each of us. And second, as we learn to pay closer attention to the variety of ways God “speaks” to us, we can experience our Lord’s love and guidance in very personal ways. Dreams can be honest and reliable messengers of the condition of our heart (Psalm 16:7), as well as the voice of God within our heart (Psalm 17:3). A close consideration of the symbolic language used in our dreams can show up areas in our lives in which God is inviting us to grow…but I am certainly curious about what growth God is inviting me to by presenting me with the shrink-wrapped boy! I will be working on this dream during the dream workshop on March 23.
CDFM’s mission is to encourage spiritual formation focusing on practices, disciplines, and ways of being that enable us to hear, see, and respond to God’s invitation to deepen our relationship with Him.
DreamWork 2.0 is one way in which CFDM is providing these resources, support, and training for those called to the ministry of spiritual direction.
Interested? Register today.