I usually do not remember my dreams, but I had a very vivid dream about two weeks ago.
It was a bright, sunny day with deep azure skies sparsely dotted with small puffs of white cottony clouds. I was walking with a friend down a wide dirt path next to a grove of tall pine trees on one side and a field of green grass on the other. I do not remember who the friend was, but I do remember God was walking with us. God was not some dark, ominous shadow, or even a bright, luminous light. He was invisible. I could not see Him, but I knew He was there. I could feel His presence. He walked along right behind my friend and me.
Unlike my usual character, I was talking a mile a minute. Blah, blah, blah� I sounded like a chatty Kathy doll. After walking for awhile, God leaned forward and whispered in my ear, “You talk too much Mark.” I turned my head, looked at God, and nodded yes in agreement. I was quiet the rest of the walk, soaking in the scenery and the company of my friend and God.
I have heard many people say that God is in the silence. So, about last summer, I started to cut out some of the noise in my life. I usually turn off the radio in the car if I am by myself. I do not turn the TV on as soon as I get home or wake up in the morning. I do not dread waiting in line or the doctor’s office. At these times, and many others throughout the day, I usually pray. Actually, it might be better described as a conversation with God. In the course of all the thinking that I do within a day, on the side, I have developed this sense of awareness that God is always there, always listening in. It is one of my attempts to recognize that God is every where I go. It is part of my attempt to pray unceasingly.
This dream has made me take notice that I have learned to substitute external noise with internal noise, the noise of my own loud thinking. I know that am constantly thinking. My mind is always working on something. I have always been that way, but now it seems more prominent with the reduction of external noise.
This dream has also pointed out to me is that now I am ready to move to the next level of silence—internal silence. In some very small ways, I have started to cultivate this internal silence at certain moments of the day. I am not afraid of it. It feels inviting, warm, and comfortable. It is peaceful. God is there. Time to quit dabbling and get really serious about meditative prayer.