Leaning into a Dream

Written by Daniel Tidwell : June 4, 2008

I really wonder what it would mean for us to believe that the Kingdom of God is like a little yeast tucked into the corners of our unleavened life.

I have been in some conversations lately that have made me think a lot about what it looks like to see the world we live in as the living and growing Kingdom of God. My mind seems to be so oriented to seeing life in terms of the culture and human empires we live in that it seems almost as if the Kingdom is an alternate dimension into which I cannot pass.

In learning to have eyes to see into the imaginations of God for the world, I believe that we can lean into the dream of the Kingdom. It is, however, a slow process. It takes time to baptize our minds into the vision of God’s love alive and at work in the world. It takes learning to discern, listen to, and move with the rhythms of the Spirit.

It is a bit like learning to lean into a dream. That place where the mind is active in a way that we can’t seem to control. Sometimes I find myself in that in between place where I know that I am asleep and dreaming, but I am aware enough that I could wake myself up. In many ways I think it is the same in learning to live in the reality of the Kingdom of God. We know good and well that there is a “real world” waiting for us to wake up and get with the program of another day’s daily grind of production. But there is a choice. We can choose to lean into the dream of God instead of settling for the “reality” that we have come to believe so easily.

As we discipline ourselves to lean into the dream of God’s Kingdom, we may have a new awakening in which we realize the dream itself is the reality that we have been longing for. The Kingdom dream is inbreaking on the world around us, and it is actually when we are living by the empires of the world that we are sleepwalking through life. To live in the dream of God is to allow our imaginations, consciences, and actions to be baptized into the Kingdom of God. It is be soul awake and alive to the Holy Spirit at work in renewing our world and moving us towards the glorious coming completion of the restoration of God through Christ.

I am reminded of the magical realism of the film The Science of Sleep. This film offers a beautiful parable of what it might be like for us to learn to lean into the inbreaking dream of the Kingdom of God. Perhaps in time we will learn to see the dream as the reality into which we are called to live. Perhaps with enough imagination, our forms of discipleship may make this more possible for future generations.

Daniel lives with his wife Jocelyn in the Belltown neighborhood of Seattle. He is an occasional blogger, poet, artist, baker, and student. He hopes to have a few kids, plant a few gardens, teach a few students, live in a few countries, and learn how to live hospitably before he reaches his 75th birthday (a lot to do in the next 52 years).

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Viewing 3 Comments

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    Perhaps...maybe with a lot of time and hard work we might be able to see a small piece of the dream of the Kingdom of God taking place. Maybe you as a younger generation will see the dream ripen into reality, but Abraham and a lot of others had to take it on faith. I don't mean to be discouraging. I just don't want you to give up dreaming, and working, just because you're having trouble living the vision God gives you of his kingdom.
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    On a personal level I'd say "Kingdom of God is into you". On a more "social" level, I'd say the Kingdom of God is on the margins (unlike "KIngdom of Caesar", that comprises a lot of our "real world").

    Very encouraging your post. Certainly salvation is by grace, but as Bonhoeffer said, we must look for the "costly" grace.
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    This is golden: "It takes time to baptize our minds into the vision of God’s love alive and at work in the world."

    Great article.


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