I had a dream last night—a chilling dream. And, no, I’m not turning Charismatic on you! But, this was one of the most vivid dreams I have ever had.
In my dream, I saw a large group of people milling about in a large, open grassy knoll. There were party tents all around. Food and drinks were plentiful and groups were talking and playing together. Yet, their smiles were surreal, and their laughter had a strange hollowness to it. There was something wrong, but everything was right. The sky was a gorgeous blue with just a few soft white clouds that seemed to complete the cheerful scene. It appeared to be a fun summer event.
Closer to the top of the knoll, a crowd was lining up. It was obvious they were waiting their turn – for something. But what? What was up there?
My dream took me to the front of the line where I observed what seemed to be a cliff. As I looked closer, I saw the entrance to what appeared to be a spectacular water slide. A smiling man, dressed in black, stood at the top encouraging the crowd to head down the slide, one person at a time. He was assuring the people that everyone would get their turn.
My dream then focused on a red headed man in the crowd. I don’t remember much about him, except he seemed very enthusiastic as he stood on the platform. He was joking with those who stood around him as he waited for the queue to move.
The man in black beckoned for the red headed man. It was finally his turn! Drunk with excitement, the red headed man sprinted to the inner tube, his vehicle for the water slide. He climbed aboard and zoomed out of sight.
My dream followed him as he went down. The first turn was a breeze, as was the second, and the third. Adrenaline charged through his veins in an intoxicating rush to his senses. But soon, something started to change. It seemed as if the turns were getting faster – and more violent. The tube did a complete 360. Someone ahead screamed. Or was it him? Fear gripped his heart; and, as it did, a sobering sense of concern washed over him as well. He was disorientated, but, at the same time, more aware. It was as if he was beginning to waken from his stupor. Why was he here anyway?
Then, the shoot that composed the slide started to change. The blue plastic tubing seemed to melt. Imperceptibly at first. A rock here. A plant there. Then more rocks. More white water. The blue of the shoot turned to soil. He was now on a fast moving stream, more like a small river! A river heading down, faster and faster; the turns, sharper and more violent.
The euphoria was gone. He remembered the smiling man in black, the one who encouraged him to get on the slide. He had meant him harm! Gone was the blue sky. Heavy gray clouds swelled and swirled above him. Wild, white water splashed against razor sharp rocks, threatening him at every turn! The red headed man fought for clarity. He still seemed so confused, but the fog was lifting. Wasn’t this supposed to be a party? Wasn’t this supposed to be fun? Was this really happening?
Suddenly, the river washed violently into a larger body of water, still rushing forward. All of a sudden, the man noticed a barrier of mist ahead – and an increasingly loud thunder! As the mist of the river came closer and closer, the mist in his mind finally dissipated all together. He now realized where he was. He was on the brink of disaster at the top of Niagara Falls. He had been deceived. They all had: those who had gone before him, as well as those who were following behind. A chilling scream pierced the darkness in front of him. He could hear the faint drunken laughter behind him. The fun, the party, the water slide – it was all a lie! The terrified victim knew the man in the black suit had swindled him—he had secretly planned his demise. “Liar!” he screamed.
I could feel the panic in his heart as he realized too late his doom. Falling, falling, falling—over the edge in one terrifying rush. Too late…
And I awoke.
This dream has been on my mind all day. Why did I have to dream something like this? Why couldn’t I have dreamed of some adventure or something like a comic relief? Why something so heavy, so thought provoking?
One could certainly draw many parallels between this dream and our current society. In both the political realm and the spiritual realm, we are very quick to just follow. It is always easier to be a lemming than to be a Berean. And so we follow powerful men and influential women, hanging on their every word, supporting their latest cause – without considering the consequences.
While this is certainly an issue and relevant to the dream, what I have been pondering most of the day is the reluctance most Christians have to sharing their faith. It is amazing to me that we claim to be followers of Jesus, we claim to know that both Heaven and Hell are real, but our focus is often on our own desires. We think ourselves awake and aware – but are we really?
OK – it is bed time again. Perhaps I can find out what happens in part two.