For the Living of These Days—A Word from Lauren Jones Mayfield

Welcome to September. A time when fall weather sneaks in on us, regular routines are back to being, well, routine, and the “Freedom to Dream” continues here at Highland. Do you have the freedom to dream? Not in the subconscious REM sleep cycle way, but in the longing-for-a-better-world way. What are your dreams?

Paying attention to the world around us might make our dreams seem silly or even pointless. “Who am I to imagine or bring about a better world?” we might wonder.

But this is precisely what Jesus calls us to do! And Paul’s message to the Ephesians reminds us as much. “I pray that God gives you a spirit of wisdom…so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which God has called you…” (Ephesians 1:17ff). I believe that hope to which we are called includes great audacity—not arrogance, but audacity. To speak to the premise that all will be made right. To rest in the promise that God is always with us. To demand justice and peace. To pursue love in all forms.

What is my radical, audacious, hope-fill dream? It’s actually hanging on a bumper sticker in my office: “BE THE CHURCH. Protect the environment. Care for the poor. Embrace diversity. Reject racism. Forgive often. Love God. Fight for the powerless. Share earthly and spiritual resources. Enjoy this life.” It is a somewhat obvious message but also one that challenges me every day to keep hope alive.

May you find the freedom to dream, dear Highland, so that together we can “maintain the hope to which we have been called.” I’m thankful that we have each other in this call to hope-filled dreaming!