I wanted to share a dream I had nearly twenty years ago that has served to define my life. I trust it will bless and help the hearer;
I am a passionate fisherman. Give me a fishing pole and some bait and a decent place to fish, and, I am in pure nirvana.
In my dream, I was driving in my car on a familiar, heavily traveled piece of urban, interstate highway. It was early evening (the sun was setting) and the comforting lights of McDonalds' Golden Arches and Quik Trip framed my view. I am a city guy, all the way. I was the reason Starbucks was invented and I love anything that has a Drive Thru Window! Convenience is my middle name and "Triple Shot, three Splenda, Extra Hot, Grande' Latte' is my mantra.
As I approached this familiar exit, I noticed a great big neon sign that read, "FISH". That sign was calling my name. "Pull off here. The lake is filled with fish and you will catch one on every cast!" For a City Softy who loves to fish, this almost seemed too good to be true. I would have a blast at this Pay as You Go Fishing Place and I would wrap up my night with a Super Sized Number 3 Meal at McDonald's. Sweet!!!
Just beneath the surface, though, I recognized a knot or something in my gut that was messing with my plans. The voice within my heart said, "Dude, this is too easy, don't get off at this exit.
As I neared the exit, and the moment of my decision drew near, I simply couldn't do it. I actually deferred to my conscience! What a heroic moment. What a guy I was! Not! And, the thrill of going with my gut didn't for very long, I might add. In fact, this decision was the beginning of a journey that I had managed to avoid for many years. Slowing down and smelling the roses never described me. Contemplative? No. Impulsive? Yes. Following God? Only if it fit into my way of living and didn't threaten me. ME, ME, ME, ME, ME. Sickening, right?
So, my conscience was telling me not to exit but, instead, to continue on into the night, farther and farther away from suburbia and all of its acoutrements that I so loved. Instead, I found myself heading into the middle of nowhere, and, I was scared to death!
After driving further and further into the night, for what seemed to be at least an hour, I began to wear down and my manic compulsion to FISH began to loosen its grip. Now that I had become willing to listen (I didn't go down without an ugly fight!) the voice within me said, "Exit Here." I was bummed. This exit had no name, just letters! I was way out of my comfort zone...
This leading on the inside guided me back over the highway overpass and onto this rural frontage road. It wasn't pretty and there were no lights, no traffic, no people, and the gravel was trashing both the under-carriage and exterior of my car! What on earth was I thinking?
I drove on that winding and twisting road for quite awhile. At no time was I able to take my focus off the road. The drive was not only rough, but, the terrain was very hilly and winding and I was only able to see what was right in front of me. I was riding by faith and it wasn't fun!
When I least expected it, and, I no longer really cared, I saw an open, rickety white gate that framed the entrance into what I figured was farm land. I knew in my heart that this was the destination I was earmarked for, all along. Funny thing; A life of predictability and comfort is easy on one's flesh, but, it really doesn't satisfy. I liken it to being at a carnival and reaching for the ridiculously oversized helping of Cotton Candy. YES, it tastes great, for a season, but, it has no nutritional value. It will make your teeth fall out, and, once the sugar buzz wears off, one is left with little more than a sour stomach!
As my car came to a stop, I got out and looked out over a large patch of countryside. Nothing amazing or anything, just lots of acres and green grass and meadows and stuff. As I continued to take in the scenery, and to my delight, I saw a man in overalls, standing (and fishing) in what looked like a large farm pond or lake. He was a very nice guy; I could sense that right away. He waved a great big wave to me, inviting me to join him. He was all alone and he was fishing and seemed to be having a grand time.
I was so excited to learn that I would finally get to do some fishing. There was no neon sign to entice me and the terrain was a little rough, but, a power I couldn't explain propelled me to this man and to his lake. When I drew near (maybe two hundred yards away) I realized that the man in the overalls was JESUS! What a nice guy! Full of personality, full of love and highly approachable!
You talk about unbelievable. I can remember to this day how happy I was in my dream!
He embraced me for a moment and then handed me a fishing pole. The one thing I remember about the lake was that it had a large, ring shaped Aerator in the middle. A source of life, I suppose. When I made my first cast, the wildest thing happened. Man sized fish, of all colors, in HD quality, began jumping out of the water, everywhere! I was in HEAVEN and so was Jesus! He was really beside himself with joy. Not because of what He had done nor by the sight of the technicolor fish jumping out of the water, but, instead, his delight was seeing my fullness of joy. He had a Masters Degree in making sure I was really, really happy. It really tickled him, and, love emanated from his entire being and radiated in His eyes. My pleasure was His, too!
This Road Less Traveled will cost you everything you think you are and everything you think you have and everything you think you want. Nonetheless, learning to transact and interact with the Living God and allowing Him to lead you on His path for your life will never disappoint. He will reveal things to you that will delight your heart and will satisfy the deepest desires of your heart. He will definitely do exceeding, abundantly, beyond, all you can ask or even imagine, according to His Power that you engage and allow to work within you. My hope (honestly) is that this will quicken and invigorate your spirit or that I might learn that you too have met the Son of Man. The Jesus many have peddled is a distant figurine or icon. I am here to tell you; when you meet the Son of Man, who is an actual person, full of vitality and personality, you will never be the same. I know Him as The Son of God, too. But, there is nothing like meeting the Son of Man. He is ultra down to earth and what is amazing is He knows (and likes) and understands every detail of who we are as persons and is intimately acquainted with all of the details of our life. I am so glad to know this guy. The Jesus I know has to be the coolest person I have ever met. I pray for every person who reads this entry that you will be stirred afresh and that Jesus will visit your life.
In my next Journal Entry I will tell you about another encounter I had with Jesus, if God be willing. But, to whet your appetite and feed your faith (and expectancy) I feel inclined to tell you this; 1. God wants to visit you, but, you need to invite Him. 2. He wants to show you His Power. But, you need to ask Him. More than food for thought or stale Christian speak I say unto you, my friends. He is a perfect gentleman and He never forces Himself on anyone. Fasten you seat belts, Jesus is very much alive and wants to inctercept and revolutionize hungry hearts.
On the Road,