How Can Our Dreams Inspire a New Way of Life?

by Mark Votava

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For awhile now, I have a had a dream to become a great writer along the lines of Wendell Berry, Thomas Merton, Dorothy Day, Richard Rohr, Parker Palmer and Simone Weil to name a few who I admire.  This dream is starting to be cultivated in a small way as I published my first book The Communal Imagination: Finding a Way to Share Life Together earlier this year.  My second book The Mystical Imagination: Seeing the Sacredness of All of Life, I am currently working on and should be out next year.  I am working on a couple more ideas for books and hope to keep publishing ever couple of years in the future.

As I love to write about spirituality, I am coming to find that this is a dream that God has placed in me.  I love to express myself through words written on a page.  It seems this has developed in me over years of longing, frustration, pain and loneliness.  We all have dreams that we need to search within to find so that we can engage the world with something beautiful.

  •  How can we dream subversive dreams together?

We need to dream of becoming citizens of our parish together.  The Spirit within us is leading us to love our neighbors in this way.  The Spirit within us is leading us to reflection and rest in our local community.  The Spirit within us is leading us to dream subversive dreams of becoming the body of Christ together.

  •  Can we reimagine what is beautiful in our context?

We need to see the practice of learning to dream as essential and nonnegotiable.  We cannot reimagine anything beautiful in our local context without it.  Without dreaming in this way we will be dead inside.  We cannot find life without a vibrant mystical imagination to see all of life as sacred in everyday life together.

  •  Do we dream and hope for a better world?

Frederika Carney says, “That is our task today: to dream and hope for a better world…” 

  •  Are we advocates for the place we find ourselves in?

Our reflection and rest will help us to dream for and reimagine a better world.  Our world will only become better if we embrace our local community with responsibility in everyday life.  We should be advocates for the place we find ourselves in.

  •  Do we have an intentional way of life?

This is our task.  This is our duty.  This is our way of life.  This is our subversive practice.

  •  Do we listen to the Spirit?

The call of the gospel is always for the local.  The call of Christ is always for the local.  God’s dreams are always aligned with the local.  The Spirit is living within us and rooting us into the local community we inhabit together.

  •  Can we live into something different for our world?

The world will not become anything different and history will repeat itself, if we do not take this call seriously.  The mystical imagination is leading us this way.  The mystical imagination is calling out to us to come alive and embrace a better world through our local community.

Have you ever dreamed subversive dreams for our world?  Please share one of them!