Don’t Follow Your Dreams Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose Mary to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him. – Matthew 1:19–24 (NRSV, adapted) QUINN G. CALDWELL | I don’t put much stock in dreams, really. Full respect for all you dream-journalers and analyzers out there; keep doing your thing. I just tend to think of dreams as the way brains work stuff out chemically and electrically, not spiritually. In that physical sense, dreams do important work, but that doesn’t necessarily make them great life guides. Seriously: think about the content of most of your dreams, the good ones or the bad ones. Should you be making major life decisions based on them? That said, if somebody—angel or not—appears to you in a dream and says, “You’re doing a great job being kind; now be even kinder,” you should do it. If a mysterious stranger reveals themselves in your subconscious and says, “Listen, what you’re about to do is perfectly legal and right, but you have all the power, so what I want you to do is to be merciful and gentle and forgiving instead,” you probably ought to listen. I don’t put much stock in dreams, really. But if yours are telling you to be more loving than you already are, if they’re pushing you toward mercy, if they’re converting you to graciousness, then do not be like me. Be like Joseph. PRAYER God, you know I’m not really down with all this woo-woo dream business. But send me a messenger that teaches me how to be more loving, and I promise to listen. Even if I’m in my underwear in my elementary school hallway when it happens. Amen.

About the Writer:
QUINN G. CALDWELL is a father, husband, homesteader, and college chaplain living in rural upstate New York. He is the author of All I Really Want: Readings for a Modern Christmas.

Source: “What’s Left of the Night?” | 2022 Advent-Christmastide Devotional by the Stillspeaking Writers’ Group, made up of United Church of Christ ministers and writers who collaborate on resources for people in the church, outside the church, and not sure about the church.