I had a dream last night. I very rarely remember my dreams, but when I do they are often significant. As a preface I think the lessons in the dream are for me, but I share them in the hope they may speak to others too. While I dreamt I had no thoughts that there was anything meaningful or symbolic happening. It felt like a real experience where the dream scenario and my real memories and emotions merged into something I just accepted.
I was in the servant quarters of a large stately home. A man who reminded me a lot of Mr Carson from Downton Abbey was briefing me on my new job which I was to start the next day.
I had been given the lowest position in the house; that of Breakfast Boy. My duties were simple. I was to report early in the morning before the master awoke and wait outside his room. When he came out for his breakfast if there was anything he required or desired he would tell me and I was to get it for him.
Eager to please I arrived with plenty of time the next day and took up my position.
But as I waited and waited I became dissatisfied. I started to look around for something to do. I felt I needed to be doing something to justify my employment. In my search for these small jobs I wandered a little way from my post.
As I performed these tasks I started to think about my new job. What would my friends and family think about me being a Breakfast Boy? It didn't sound very glamorous. How did it fit with my qualifications and my experience? Was I really being used to my full potential? As I had wandered I had discovered that this was not just a stately home but a palace. And the master was actually the king. This made me feel better. If anyone asked I would tell them I was the king's servant. That sounded better. Spiritual even! Perhaps when I got to know the king I could arrange for friends to come and visit. That would make me popular. I was now even further from my post.
Finally I found myself in a church conference setting [I don't know how, but in the dream it seemed to make sense]. Lots of people I knew where there. I mingled and listened to the speaker for a bit.
Suddenly I remembered my duties and realised how far I was from my post. I looked at my watch. I was late! I rushed back but on the way I bumped into the Carson character. He was seriously unimpressed. He gave me a good dressing down for being late on my first day! I tried to protest that I had been there in time but he didn't want to hear any of my excuses.
That's where the dream ended. And I forgot all about it until later in the morning when I realised what day it was. On holiday, days tend to merge into one. I had completely forgotten it was Easter Sunday. It was only when I saw some of the, "He is risen!" posts on Facebook that I realised. I remembered my dream and suddenly realised the significance of being available for the risen king!
Breakfast Boy may have seemed a lowly and insignificant position. But actually it was one of great honour and importance. It was a position of intimacy close to the king. To see him risen. To be trusted with his first requests of the day.
I realised how much of my thinking was taken up with what other people think of me, and how easy it is to get distracted from what is important and look for significance in the wrong places. How readily positions of service are turned into titles of ministry. How easy it is to measure our importance to the master by our activity. How we can become distracted in the familiarity of our meeting settings or measure our worth by which conferences we attend and who we rub shoulders with when we are there.
All that matters is that we are servants of the risen king available to do his bidding.
I am his Breakfast Boy. That is enough.