Jonathan dictates the song choice in my car during our travels together. Usually I can sway the vote to something I can tolerate. That said, I’ve had the Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat soundtrack on repeat in my car for the last month or so. This was after having the Mamma Mia! soundtrack on repeat with the occasional appearance of Mary Poppins over the last two years.
Six years ago…someone please make time slow down.
Day in and day out the story of Joseph goes with me and I’ve found myself lost in thought over it.
I’ve noticed a theme of dreams in every direction I turn from people of different walks of life over the course of the last year. Whether they be physical dreams, visions from God, or simply desires of the heart, it seems everyone has a dream within them. In observing some of these dreams and their outcomes, I’ve noticed something; as humans our instinct is to rush the dream. We think we need to find a way to make the dream happen, when quite often the way to reach our dream is to let the dream find us.
Thinking about Joseph, what particularly breaks my heart is the broken relationship between he and his brothers. It took time, but by the end of the story they become the brothers they should have been when Joseph was a child. And while the behavior of the brothers is certainly a subject for discussion, what the interaction between the brothers and Joseph leads me to wonder is–what would have happened if Joseph had exhibited a little maturity with his teenage dreams?
It’s a thought I’ve never considered before, but one that I think could have changed the course of Joseph’s life for even better.
If you are unfamiliar with the story check out Genesis Chapter 37…it’s all there.
While Joseph’s interpretation of his dreams is accurate (his brothers do one day bow to him) it is the speed and lack of sensitivity with which he shares his dreams which I believe altered his life.
I imagine Joseph as an eager-eyed seventeen-year-old. He has these dreams that excite him. What person wouldn’t be excited by continual dreams that emphasize their siblings bowing down to them? Maybe he thought the dream’s outcome was right around the corner. Maybe he thought sharing the dream with his brothers would make them treat him as they did in his dream, that they would immediately revere and respect him.
Instead they want to kill him. I grew up with three brothers… sounds about right to me.
Fortunately, they don’t kill him and instead sell him into slavery, drastically changing the next thirteen years of his life. He is a slave for many of those years. He is accused of rape. He is sent to prison. He is forgotten.
Not the life of a gifted dreamer if you ask me.
While God used the horrible course of events in Joseph’s life for good, I find myself wondering if this was really God’s Plan A for Joseph. I know many will disagree, but, personally, I just don’t think so.
Couldn’t Joseph’s ability to interpret dreams have been used in his younger years to help more than just a cup bearer and a baker?
Couldn’t his ability to interpret dreams have led him from Canaan to Egypt and Pharaoh without years in slavery and prison?
Couldn’t God possibly have originally hoped for Joseph to achieve his dreams without suffering?
For myself, I find I’m often like Joseph. I get excited about a dream and want it to happen right now, yesterday, if possible. Then, when this wonderful thing, clearly divinely inspired, doesn’t happen right away, I try to force it. I plunge head first into situations that I think will lead me to my dream and I’m surprised when in the end they make me miserable. The dream is still there, but the path I’ve taken makes it seem unable to be achieved. The path I eagerly choose ends up being more painful than if I had chosen to wait.
I’m not deeply versed in theology, I don’t even own an interlinear bible, so I’m sure there are holes in my theory, but in a world full of dreamers, let’s make sure we’re among those who see our dreams come true.
Don’t rush your dream. Wrap it in wisdom. And when all else fails, pray*.
*This is good advice for most situations of life. Hopefully I learn to take my own advice.