For years, I’ve been drawn to the story of Joseph (told in Genesis 37, 39-46) because he was a Dreamer. I was recently re-reading his story in preparation for writing a theological reflection, and was reminded of some important points. So I’d like to share with you four things that should be in every Dreamer’s toolbox:
- Endurance. Even in the lowest points of his life, Joseph ended up in positions of leadership. Little did he know, this was preparing him for something greater. Instead of being upset that we aren’t where we think we should be in life, we should choose to bloom where we are planted. Chances are, we’ll also pick up some necessary skills along the way.
- Patience. Joseph’s dream wasn’t realized until thirteen years after he’d first received the vision. We live in a society that wants what it wants “right now,” and we have forgotten about the lost art of patience. When it comes to God’s promises, there are plenty of biblical examples to remind us that we have to trust His timing. This can be a hard pill to swallow when we see others excelling. The important thing to remember is that God sees the big picture, we don’t.
- Humility. As soon as Joseph had his dream, he told it to his family. His excitement came across as arrogance and started him on a rocky journey. In the New Testament account of Mary, the mother of Jesus, we hear the phrase “she pondered these things in her heart” more than once. This is a good reminder that sometimes, we have to keep our dreams to ourselves until God tells us when to reveal them. A little humility goes a long way.
- Focus. On the other hand, sometimes “favor just ain’t fair.” Humility had nothing to do with the fact that Jacob singled out Joseph as his favorite son. Joseph’s “loose lips” were just the straw that broke the camel’s back. The truth of the matter is this: sometimes, people will dislike you for no reason. Despite this, we have to remember to not take it personally or let it distract us from whatever God has called us to do.