Finding Meaning in Rest
Article by Jessie Mejias, Sunodía Founder and Director
As I write this article, I am about to start a four-week writing sabbatical. While this is not a term I have ever heard used anywhere else, it seems apt, being that a sabbatical is a change in a normal routine, and I’ve known for awhile I need that kind of break in order to spend some uninterrupted time writing.
The plan was to start this month of focused writing on Monday, August 6th. Interestingly, on the preceding Sunday morning, I woke up from a vivid dream. It was as follows:
I am at an outdoor picnic or gathering cleaning up after myself. Suddenly, I remember that I left my handbag on one of the tables for the whole day. When I go back to look for it, I find that it is still there; I am surprised and relieved that no one has taken it, as I know it was very careless of me to leave it out in the open.
However, as I continue to clean up the mess that covers the table, I find a wallet. Looking inside of it, I see that it is more or less empty. But it’s then that I realize that this is my wallet; that my wallet, rather than my purse, is what I left sitting out all day; and, that someone has stolen most of the contents.
The wallet is not completely empty—there are still a few items left. What is really odd was, while all of the credit cards are gone, some of the ID cards and all of the cash are still there.
Now, the biggest problem I can foresee was that I have to figure out what is missing. I go to the police to report the stolen items. Just I am showing the policeman the empty wallet, I wake up.
* * *
I didn’t need to pray very hard to understand that this dream was showing me the condition of my heart. I knew that, by being careless with my time and energy, I had allowed my “credit,” or the bulk of my resources, to get stolen. While I was left with some “cash”—a smaller amount resources that was no less valuable—the bottom line was, I had let myself be plundered and was left depleted.
Before I had more time to pray and meditate on this, I went to church and heard an amazing sermon about the full extent of the gospel (“Misunderstood – the Extent of the Good News”). One of the speaker’s main points was about how one of God’s original intentions was for both humans and creation to take a Sabbath every seven years—or as we commonly call it, a sabbatical. Just as God rested from creation on the seventh day, this was to be a time when normal activities ceased so that humans and creation could be replenished.
I marveled at the timing of this message, and realized that, though, this ministry had been in existence for seven years, it wasn’t until now that I’d ever considered taking a month off from my normal activities. I also thought it fitting that I was taking four weeks off in August and another three weeks off in September—a total of seven weeks.
The truth was, up until this point, I wasn’t really sure that taking this time off was the right thing to do. Would I really be able to write? More importantly, would the ministry be able to survive the lack of income I normally bring in while I’m out?
What’s amazing is how God worked through a time of rest—that is, a night’s sleep—to speak to me about (what else?) this time of rest. God used this dream to confirm that this sabbatical was indeed His plan, and that it was much needed. And He continued to reassure me that, during this month, I was to find refreshment in the Word (specifically in the book of Isaiah!), and in leisure while not writing.
Dreams are the sleep language of God. He uses them for so many purposes: to lead us, to confirm His will to us, to reveal what is happening in the depths of our hearts, and to show us things to come. Sometimes, when we are struggling to hear from Him, dreams are the most powerful and potent channel He works through to reach us and move us toward our destinies.
Has God been speaking to you through your dreams’ stories and symbols? Perhaps now is the time to start learning more about what these messages mean. Signing up for Sunodia’s next Saturday seminar, Understanding Your Dreams, is one way you can get started. It will be held on Saturday, Sept. 8, and will offer tools and resources for interpreting dreams, as well as time to share in a small group setting. You can learn more and register here!