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Tonight we put up our Christmas tree, the first Ravella/Gilbert tree. Actually we have two trees. One is artificial. It is perfect. It has p...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

My Dream

The other day we were talking as a family about dreams and it reminded me of a dream I had probably around 1986. I have never been one to have prophetic dreams like Andrea but this one of those dreams I will remember forever. When I think about it I still feel as if I have just woken up. I still feel the emotions and remember every detail. I have thought many times over the years on what this dream meant because it was so clear to me and full of so much meaning I knew it was a message to me. Over the years I thought there were several major events in my life that gave meaning to this dream, like Nic being born and Anthony’s adoption. But there was one aspect of the dream that did not fit until now; I think you will see what I mean.

The dream began in green field, almost like a pasture; in front of me was a steep cliff the top I never saw I only remember seeing the face of a tall cliff. Andrea and I were there with a group of people none of which I knew. We were playing football, I was the quarterback and Andrea was a running back. As we set up to run a play Andrea and I knew the goal was not to play football but to climb the cliff before us. And for some reason I was trying to get a head start as if it was a race. So when we hiked the ball Andrea and I let it pass over us and everyone took off for the fumble. At the same time Andrea and I ran for the cliff and started to climb. To our amazement what looked like a cliff made of rock was actually soft and we could dig in with your hands and feet making the climb far easier than I thought. I can still “feel” my hands sinking into the cliff as if it was the forest floor, soft with moss. Soon I was alone, I have no idea, nor did I seem to care that Andrea was no longer with me; I was just intent on finding something, what I did not know.

Soon I made it to a ledge, the cliff continued far above me and I was standing on a ledge, like a narrow sidewalk on the side of the cliff. Before me where two paths, one wide to my left that led into a tunnel, and one narrow to my right that formed the path along the cliffs edge. Above them was written,

Wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction
Small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life

Matthew 7:13-14

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.

I took the narrow path to my right, as it followed the cliff until it came to a large open room cut inside the mountain. I stood at the edge of the path which was the entry of the room and I looked for something. I still did not know what it was, but I knew I was looking for something and I felt an urgency as if it was still a race. It was as if I trying to find something hidden, not knowing what it was or where it was and I was seeking any clue that would point me in the right direction. Then to my right at the opposite corner from me stood a man clothed in brilliant white clothes, and his face shinned so bright it was white and almost translucent. In my mind I knew it was Jesus and I took off running after him. When I got to where Jesus had been standing he was gone and to my right was another long path and I saw Jesus standing about 100 yards from me. I took off in a sprint after him and as I approached he stepped into a doorway. I ran to it and quickly opened the door and there in a totally white room with nothing in it stood Jesus, and to his right was Andrea, also dressed in white shinning brilliantly. She was just smiling at me. She had an air of contentment and peace. I was not sure how she got there, and in my dream I the thought or question never came to me, I glanced around the room thinking whatever I was after must be here, but the room was empty except for Jesus and Andrea. But to my right (Jesus’ and Andrea’s left) I noticed two doors. Still feeling the need to hurry, I immediately went for one of the doors and Jesus put out his hand as if to say no that is the wrong door. I now felt a calm come over me and the need to hurry was gone, maybe because I knew whatever I was after was behind the second and final door. As I reached for the door knob, I looked to Andrea and she was still smiling at me. I opened the door to a small closet, again totally white, and in the middle there was a bassinet with a baby in it. I looked back and Jesus and Andrea were just staring at me, Andrea still smiling. Then I woke up and the dream was over.

The military can make you chase after accomplishments and lose track of what is really important, my faith and my family. So for years I thought that dream told me that in my rushing in life I need to remember that playing promotion games was not worth my time, my boys and my family were what were important. You know how life pulls you in so many directions sometimes the easiest thing to give up is our family or our relationship with God. This is especially true when life is going smooth, and your sense of inadequacy or need perceived as nil. I have come to think that keeping the faith is most challenging when life is going the way we want. Most people think how awful it must have been for Ginger to lose Troy and me Andrea, but as far as faith it became simpler for me, for there was nothing else I could do, life overwhelmed me and I was helpless to control the events around me. Now when life has settled down there is no external force driving my need to seek God, in fact it is just the opposite, life accomplishments tend to force self reliance and thus a lack of need for God’s presence in my life.

Over the years I could never figure out why Andrea started out with me and was then standing with Jesus. Now I think that is clear. I have always felt the cliff represented something in life that appeared to be difficult, if not impossible, but turned out to be easier then it looked. I thought that may have been events in my military career, but now I see the cliff represented cancer. It was do daunting, so overwhelming to hear a doctor speak those words to my wife at the age of 41. I see not that I was left to finish on my own, choosing my faith on my own. And this has been a definite message God has spoken to me over and over since 2003. I could not relay on Andrea’s faith for my salvation. The path represented my choice to place my faith in Christ, and Jesus led me to what I sought. The two doors represent a choice, and in my hast I see my personality to always rush to a decision. In Christ’s movement to stop my first choice I see the usual outcome of my impatience, the wrong choice. But I also see the love God has for me and Jesus directs my path. The meaning of the baby is what I have always tried to understand. Did it represent life, family? I don’t know for sure but I think maybe it is both, life, or living again, and my new family.

I can still see Andrea’s smile, in a way more clearly then I can remember her in life. It was so calming, so reassuring that everything was okay, with her, she was happy and I was going to be okay.

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