To Interfere in Dreams

Blog / Produced by The High Calling
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“Somehow I can’t believe there are any heights that can’t be scaled by a man who knows the secrets of making dreams come true,” Walt Disney once said. “This special secret can be summarized in four Cs. They are Curiosity, Confidence, Courage, and Constancy, and the greatest of all is Confidence. When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way.”

G. K. Chesterton once wrote, “[W]hat we suffer from today is humility in the wrong place . . . A man was meant to be doubtful about himself, but undoubting about the truth; this has been exactly reversed.”

The word “confidence” bleeds at the seams—it can easily become “self-confidence.” But as Chesterton rightly points out, confidence and self-confidence are not the same; they are not even cousins. I am generally most confident of a truth that has proven my own ideas wrong. My imperfection is the best proof of a truth’s veracity. Why? Because it is the one proof I am most reluctant to admit. I don’t like being wrong. It is enough to notice, in other words, that Walt Disney exhorted us to believe in “a thing,” not in ourselves. There is a difference.

Walt also extolled the virtues of curiosity, courage, and constancy. Put another way, it takes courage to constantly be curious. As the poet Alastair Reid reminds us:

. . . to be curious
is dangerous enough, To distrust
what is always said, what seems,
to ask odd questions, interfere in dreams,
smell rats, leave home, have hunches,
does not endear cats to those doggy circles
where well-smelt baskets, suitable wives, good lunches
are the order of things, and where prevails
much wagging of incurious heads and tails.

Reid’s preference for cats notwithstanding, my English Setter “Annie” is most happy when she gets to smell a corner of the world she’s not smelled before. Her tail wags furiously as she dances from smell to smell like a mouse chasing cheese. At night, when the hunt is over and she’s lying by the hearth, her whole body contorts in her sleep—she’s chasing smells down in some other world, curious as ever to see what she’ll find at the end of her nose.

Dreams coming true may not be the parlance of scripture, but it expresses the right idea—assuming our dreams fall in line with our discipleship. When our dreams are the product of overwrought ambition or the idle wishes of a selfish will, they may come true, but they will soon prove nightmares if they do. But when we dream the dreams of the Spirit, as Joel prophesied, what visions we will see; what prophesies we will herald; what dreams may come . . . nay, will come true.