Friday, February 24, 2012

A Couch, A River and Eternity

Dreams are short.
It's true. They must take almost no time at all. I know this because my alarm went off this morning and I hit the snooze. Then I dreamed.
Yes, it was this ugly in my dream
In the dream there was a couch. I sat on the couch and was joined by my three younger brothers. I don't know what age I was, since it seemed to vary. Let's just remember this is a dream and give me some leeway on the details. I'll give you the same consideration.
Now this was a time traveling couch, or a space traveling couch, or both. I'm not sure. I do know all four of us were on it. We traveled to Grandma's cottage. (Isn't that interesting how I always think of it as Grandma's cottage, not Grandpa's, even though it was his refuge? Or we simply called it The Cottage, and everyone knew what we were talking about.)
At first the cottage wasn't there. The couch was simply on the riverbank, and we had a good view. I manipulated something, I think it was shaped like a football and had a few buttons on it, and we moved forward to the present day. Grandma's cottage still wasn't there, but now the bank was lined with vacation homes, some quite elaborate.
We didn't like the vacation homes, so we moved the couch back a little into a small park that overlooked all the homes. Now I remember The Cottage pretty well, including the area around it, and there were no hills to do this from, so it was just for the dream. That doesn't make any difference, but I wanted to be clear.
At this point I noticed we each had some sort of card in our hand, a program of some sort, perhaps one for our lives. When we were on the undeveloped bank of the river these were blank and clean, now they were covered with glitter.
We moved forward in time and space and ended up in a gleaming tower, the kind of place you see in the movies outside a successful lawyer's office. Nice carpet, glass tables, fancy paintings on the wall and all the couches were leather, although I don't know if ours was. I didn't like the place at all, but I couldn't get the couch to move.
One of my brothers got off the couch and went into the lawyer's office, which was behind us. I pushed the couch off the carpet and decided I could get it to work from there. "I'm going back," I said. "Who's coming with me?"
Dreams are funny. I think the ones who got on the couch with me were my two sons, and they were both still young. But you know how dreams are; it's as if they were there the entire time, and they had the programs in their hands.
The couch went back to the river, but it was the place overlooking the vacation homes. That's not where I wanted to be. I didn't like the glitter on my program, and I wanted it to be clean. As I pressed the button to go back to the pristine river, the people on the couch changed again, and now they were Darling and her mother, but her mother was younger and sound asleep.
And I was a preacher. I had a pulpit, but my congregation was the couch, with Darling awake and Frau sound asleep, although I was aware others were watching.
I'll just put the sermon below, as best as I recall, without quotes.

Some people might say they are a good man, a good person. No doubt they are. They look at the people around them and they are better than what they see. They try to be better. Some succeed.
People might look at me and say I am a good man. Some might say that I am an awesome man. (Now, I don't think that, but this is to make a point.)
Let me point out how fragile being good, being awesome truly is. Spend thirty minutes with a trash-talking sailor and you're no longer awesome. Spend twenty minutes with some of these trash-talking workers in a Houston chemical plant, and you are no longer awesome. You become like them. And you do not become like them for just twenty minutes, the time you spent with them. No, now you are no longer awesome forever.
I spent most of my young life trying to be the best person I could be. I didn't cuss. Only occasionally did I say a bad word, and if I did I was immediately ashamed. I spent ten years in the chemical plants with some of the operators there and I didn't even see the change. One day I was called into the personnel office. Someone complained about me. They were offended at the language I used when I was talking to someone in an office near them. I was dumbfounded. I stepped back and took a good hard look and they were right to be offended. The sad part was that I didn't see it. My shame was gone.
My shame returned to me that same day. But I fight the fight against bad language even today.
It's the same with any sin, any impurity of mind, body, spirit or intellect. When the shame disappears, you're lost in a sea of non-awesome.
I need salvation, and I know that my salvation comes through the cleansing blood of Jesus, the Messiah, the Christ, my God and Savior, the King of the Universe, the One True God. Through his sacrifice I am made clean so that I can enter into Heaven.
Now I'm not going to preach salvation through Jesus Christ to you. I don't preach it to anyone. That offends some of the people in my church. They think I don't love my neighbor. If I loved them, I'd want to save them from Hell and Damnation. Since I don't love them enough, I must not be saved. I won't even address that issue.
What I will say to all the good people listening to me is simply this. You don't know that Jesus is salvation, the one True path to an Eternal Heaven. You think there is another Way, another God, another Leader, another Path, another Option. You think you can be good enough to get into Heaven by your own merits. That's okay with me. Try your way. Explore it. See what it demands of you. Honestly evaluate your choice.
My salvation doesn't depend on my perfection, which is a really good thing, since it simply isn't possible. One pornographic picture and my mind is imprinted forever. I have a fight that I must combat forever.
And I'm not alone.
But go ahead. Test your salvation. It's more than life insurance. Life insurance you give to those left behind in this physical world. This is Eternal Life Insurance, and it's the gift you carry with you into Eternity, beyond this plane of existence.
When you have that empty feeling in your heart, when you wonder if you have chosen correctly, come talk to me, because I have one thing that you don't have.
My salvation comes with a guarantee - an ironclad, eternal guarantee.
Rom 6:23 (NIV) For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
My eternity (Baptists call it "salvation" but it really is eternity) doesn't depend on my behavior, but simply on one action. I must accept the gift of Eternal Life that Jesus Christ offers me.
It's a gift He offers everyone.
My heart is at peace with eternity. How's yours?
Only one way out

My dream ended when the snooze alarm went off. So in a few minutes I traversed space and time and faced Eternity.
I have no idea what the couch meant. I have no idea why the people in my dreams were with me. I have no idea why I was preaching.
But I am at peace.

1 comment:

  1. It's been a long time since I've had a life-changing sort of dream...but I like the sound of yours. :)