Saturday, my friend Gen told me about a dream she had. It was so similar to dreams I’d had that I got chills and cried. I knew it was from God. (More on why I’m so convinced about that in a later post.)
So Sunday morning, I’m in church. We’re singing, and I’m sitting there thinking that I want to share this dream with the congregation. It was only the fourth time I’d attended, and I wasn’t feeling at all comfortable about it. I finally set it aside and decided not to worry about it.
Then my friend tapped me on the arm. “The pastor wants to pray for you,” she said.
He did. He prayed that I be free from caring what other people thought — not him, not my parents, friends, anyone — and that I speak God’s word clearly.
Later, I asked him why he prayed what he did, since it felt like he had read my mind. He simply told him the Holy Spirit said to pray that for me. No big deal.
So later I got up my nerve and shared the dream with the church. I’ll share it with you as well. Remember, this is Gen’s dream. I was in it, and because of my own similar dreams, I feel as though I was there.
It’s pretty simple. Gen and I were walking to a creek. There were lots of other people going as well. When we got there, there were thousands of people all waiting to cross the creek, which was threatening to overflow its banks and drown everyone.
We began to run back, but almost everyone else stayed, risking their lives because they didn’t realize how quickly they could be swept away and drown.
As we ran, we warned all the people we saw heading to the creek to turn back — that it was dangerous. The few other people who had also turned back did not bother to warn anyone.
And that is it.
The creek is our culture. We are all in danger of drowning in an massive swell of celebrity worship, porn, materialism, and so forth. Not very many people realize the spiritual danger they are in. The people who do don’t have the nerve to warn other people.
It’s easy to understand. No one wants to be told that their culture is a sewer. No one wants to think their decision to watch The Walking Dead or to listen to the latest AM hate radio show is bad for their soul. Or that buying a bunch of junk to soothe their pain isn’t helpful because they are trading their work, their life, for…nothing.
No one wants to think about the fact that porn is so ubiquitous that many parents consider it “normal” when their teenage — or younger — sons look at it on the computer.
It would make us feel bad about ourselves.
We don’t want to feel bad about our choices. We want to have high self-esteem, to feel that whatever we do is ultimately okay, that our choices are an expression of freedom.
Well. I spent most of my adult life in chains. Most of the time I couldn’t see my prison or the fact that the choices I made — including the choice not to take God seriously — were the reason I was a wreck.
It’s hard to talk like this. I feel like I’m inviting hate, and that’s scary. I know how I used to feel — the scorn I had for people who dared to question my choices was unmatched. I loathed people I deemed to be religious fanatics. I thought, “Who are they to use their fairy tales to question my lifestyle?”
God definitely has a sense of humor.
But I had to share this. I believe we are drowning, and it’s not love to sit back and watch.
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Matthew 7:13-14