A while back, I wrote that sometimes I have prophetic dreams. This is true, but the opposite is also true. Sometimes I have confusing, mundane, or even contradictory dreams. The question is: How do I know the difference? Which dreams tell the future, and which dreams simply re-hash the worn-out banalities of my daily life?
The answer is not so easy to decipher. No wonder the ancients consulted oracles and full-time dream interpreters.
At about this time last year, I received a very graphic dream that I hit someone with my car. I was driving down a busy street at night, when a group of teenagers wearing Halloween costumes bolted in front of my Ford Ranger pickup. With no time to react, I drove full force into a young man wearing a white ghost sheet and a green stocking cap. His body flung around and slammed into the side of the car. I panicked and sped away – hit and run, but then returned to the scene a few minutes later. When I arrived, red and blue police lights flashed onto the buildings and reflected from darkened windows. I awoke with a knot in my stomach.
Was it a premonition, or something else?
In the weeks that followed, I agonized over that dream. I simply had no way of knowing if those frightful images would really come to pass, or if my Halloween vision would simply pass away. I prayed about that dream and consulted my elders. I meditated and pondered, hoping for some additional insight.
As Halloween approached, I accepted that I may never receive an answer. This forced me into an interesting dilemma. I had to decide if I would ignore the dream and take my chances on visiting a horrible fate, or if I would change my dream by choosing a different course. Some dreams really have come true and others just fizzle. What risk was I willing to take?
After considering all my options, I chose to alter the dream course.
In the last two or three days before Halloween, I drove more cautiously than usual. In my way of thinking, young people might conceivably dress up and attend costume parties one or two days before the actual holiday. If this happened, I would be more mindful. I also made arrangements to not drive at all for the full 24 hours of Halloween proper. I stayed home most of the day, and that evening, my family and I walked to a trunk-or-treat celebration at a neighborhood church. At the end of the event, we walked home together and enjoyed a beautiful, uneventful evening.
I may never know if my actions altered the course of fate, or if I simply worried myself over nothing. This leads me to the essential question of the hour. To all my dreamers out there in the blogosphere, I ask you to share your own dream wisdom. How do YOU tell authentic dream messages from random mental chatter? Please comment.