I have two recurring dreams. In the first dream, I show up to attend a church service and someone tells me that I am preaching. I calmly reply no, I am only here to attend. Others enter the discussion and soon everyone is convinced I am supposed to speak. the more I resist, the more they insist. As the service starts, everyone sits and waits until I get up and say something. Sometimes I go ahead and speak, and I crash and burn. I have nothing to say, and what I do say makes no sense. All these eyes are staring at me, judging me as a loser and I am publicly embarrassed.
Sometimes in this dream, after being convinced I have to speak, I run out of the service to try and prepare some notes. I am under a huge time crunch, and everything that can go wrong does. I fall down as I run, my car doesn't start, traffic is backed up, I get home and I can't get in the house, my computer won't boot up.
Every time I have this dream, at my most vulnerable, terrifying moment, I wake up and my heart is racing and I am sweating. This is not a pleasant dream at all!
In the second dream, I've graduated from college and I'm working at a job based on my degree. But it's discovered I actually don't have my degree because I am one class short. I have to go back to school to take this class, and going back to school is a nightmare. I have to quit my job and leave my family. When I get to college I can't remember where the buildings are. The prerequisite knowledge needed to take that class has left me. I have to use technology that I have no clue how to use. In this dream I thought I had achieved a level of success, and my family was proud of me, only to find out I didn't. The rug is pulled out from under me and I am no longer capable of accomplishing that goal.
Once again, at my most discouraging, hopeless point in the dream, I wake up. I am not panicked like my public speaking nightmare, but I wake up with this feeling of discouragement, believing that I will never be good enough and I have let myself and my family down. This is not a pleasant dream at all!
These two recurring dreams highlight my biggest fears and life wounds: the fear of rejection, abandonment, loneliness and failure.
The spirit of money has whispered in my ear since I was a child that money would protect me from these fears; money would insulate me from the pain of rejection, abandonment and loneliness, and as long as I had money I would never feel like a failure. Is that true? Of course not! Money makes promises it is unable to deliver.
Why is spending and personal debt out of control in our society, causing bondage in people of all ages and income levels? Could it be that when Jesus said we cannot serve God and money, he was right?
God bless you. See you next Sunday!
Hauser is the founding and senior pastor at Prairie Heights Community Church in Fargo-Moorhead and can be reached at www.jonhauser.com