Have you ever had that dream, the one where you’re back in school and get to class, only to discover that there’s a test that day? The trouble is, you didn’t know there was a test and you’re completely unprepared. I’ve had it off and on for several years. My mother used to tell me that she still had that dream, and she’d been out of school much longer than I had.

One evening two or three years ago I was driving down the road listening to a radio program called the Dream Doctor. I haven’t heard it quite some time, but it was an interesting program and the host played some fun music. I enjoy listening to Delilah’s listener calls, but sometimes I just say, “Enough! I can’t listen to another sappy Disney movie theme song!” [I just did a search and discovered that the Dream Doctor is no longer on the air because its host is now suffering from Lou Gehrig’s Disease; his words began to slur and he will eventually lose the ability to speak. Sadly, he is only 44 years old.]

On this particular evening, a retired teacher called. She often had this dream, but often from a different perspective: sometimes she was a student unprepared to take the test; sometimes a teacher unprepared to give the test. She explained that she really didn’t have any school hang-ups–unresolved testing issues, if you will–but still the dream persisted over the years. Cut to commercial. . .

Let me tell you, I was hanging on the edge of my seat. Alone in my car, I almost turned off my cell phone. I needed to hear his opinion about this dream and I was paranoid something was going to happen to prohibit it. If you’ve had this dream, maybe you’re hanging on the edge of your seat now, too.

You know what he had to say? In his opinion (which obviously is the best anyone can give; I don’t know any modern-day Josephs), the dream had nothing to do with school. The test was the key. Dreaming this dream can symbolize some sort of test in your life, a challenge or hurdle which you’re facing and for which you feel unprepared. Amazingly, this interpretation has been valid every time I’ve had the dream since hearing the program. The next time I experienced it was the week of Thanksgiving. It was the first time I was hosting this holiday for my extended family, and I was nervous about being the one cooking the turkey. What’s Thanksgiving with a ruined turkey?! You can understand my apprehension. And I understood my dream.

Have you had this recurring dream? The next time you do, think about what’s going on in your life and see if you’re being tested!

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