I think it’s safe to say we’ve all had at least one of these types of dreams. Either we’re simply running or we’re running in slow motion or running in place, putting forth a lot of effort but not getting anywhere. Or, even worse, we have one of those dreams where we’re being chased, and we’re running like mad.
Overall, running in dreams is a picture of something we are most likely experiencing in our spiritual walk. How we’re running, where we’re running, and all the other details in the dream help paint a better picture of what we are experiencing, and help us understand what God may be trying to say. Let’s look at some of these a little closer.
First, running in slow motion. Probably one of the most frustrating types of dreams to have. Because even in the dream, deep inside of us, we know that we’re capable of going so much faster, but we can’t. These dreams usually point to a spiritual hunger that we’ve not yet learned how to satisfy. We know there’s more. We’re hungry for it, and we’re trying hard to chase after it. But we don’t know where to find it or how to unlock the potential for it. God sees that and so usually in these dreams, if we pay attention to some of the details, God provides clues of where we can start.
Secondly, let’s talk about running in place. These are dreams where we’re putting forth lots of effort but not getting anywhere. Also very frustrating because we’re spinning our wheels, so to speak. These dreams simply mean that we’re in a learning stage. We have a general idea of how to run (spiritually speaking), but we’ve not yet found the “spiritual footing” we need to get the traction that’ll propel us forward. In other words, we don’t quite yet know how to apply what we have in our spiritual toolbox so that we can make noticeable progress in our walk. These are dreams that should teach us to pull back on our effort, stop pushing so hard, and instead ask God to help us understand.
Lastly, let’s talk about dreams where we’re being chased. Unlike the first two examples, dreams of running and being chased always have an aspect of fear to them. They involve someone else, usually someone we cannot see or make out too clearly. And that’s because these dreams are showing us what’s going on in the spiritual realm. Usually, they come at a time where in our waking life we’ve started or are trying to move forward in something we felt called to, but we’re having difficulty making progress. So God let us see behind the curtain of what is going on spiritually so that we can recognize the true source of our opposition. The enemy of our souls sees what we’re doing and is therefore trying to cause fear in our hearts by trying to terrorize us or wear us out so that we’ll give up and stop. If something is feeling harder than it should, or if we feel like something we felt called to is just not working out, having a dream like this can help us realize that it’s not us, it’s not that we’re not meant to do it, it’s not even necessarily that the timing is wrong, it’s just that we’re experiencing spiritual opposition and we’ve got to rely on God’s protection and keep persevering.