Today the Christian church celebrates Epiphany - the time when the maji followed a star to visit the infant Jesus. There is a magic about Epiphany. For me this year, it is about focus, guidance and direction. Quite often, the guiding stars in my life are my dreams. Dreams have a a special language that tell us what is really going on in our life. I have always had very vivid and significant dreams. Some I remember in such detail that I could write a book about them.
How appropriate then, that last night I had a dream that reminded me of my focus and direction for the year ahead. It began with me receiving a written profile from a congregation in the Metropolitan area asking if I would come and be there minister. (My dream didn't follow the correct procedures of the Uniting Church!) This particular congregation was very diverse. It had people of all ages. It had at least two cultural groups worshipping in their own languages. It had mission outreach programmes, playgroups, kids' club, youth groups, young adult groups and much more. The range was exciting and the possibilities endless.
In the dream, I decided to go to Perth and meet with these people to find out more. It was at this point that I got caught in a rollercoaster ride. It was like a blur. I was totally caught up in the frenzy of meeting new people, talking about the future and the whirlwind of activity that it came as a shock when I discovered that the decision had been made that I was going to move.
It was like the world stood still, but I was so dizzy. I felt physically sick and had to retreat from the action to find my feet. Once I had regained my composure I returned to the large crowds and gave a passionate speech about God's calling on my life. I explained to the people that I was not meant to be torn in every direction, but to be loyal and focussed on the people of Augusta and Margaret River. Funnily enough, the people were not too disappointed or disgruntled. It was like it had all been a game, a ploy all along. All the bells and whistles were an attempt to distract me and pull me away. All they would do is move on to the next victim.
What a timely reminder to focus and not be distracted. Just to allay any concerns from my congregation members, I am not in any way thinking about moving on. It is easy, however, to become distracted from the task at hand. This dream has come at a time when I am reflecting on the year ahead. What will I focus upon? Where will I direct my energy? What will my priorities be? Maybe in my daily life I can take heed from my Epiphany in the Night and take the time to retreat and reflect first rather than get myself into a dizzy spin.