I have a very interesting dream last night, feel led to write down. Before went to sleep, I prayed for an understanding. Seems it is answered by the dream. So I will share a bit of the context.
I was pondering about this: what relationship we are to have with others when we are to serve them in the Lord? Are we just a fellow plant in the Garden and leave all the work to the Great Gardener? Are we but a peer sheep in the flock and leave everything to the care of the Great Shepherd?
There is an implied understanding from my few loving and trusted “teachers” that because we are evil in the beginning, so everything we do for the Lord will but mess things up. If we try to serve, it is then doomed to be changed into something alien to God, as man’s pride and selfishness are destined to overtake. This troubles me greatly because I had been feeling a strong calling from the Lord to serve others in a way seems would fundamentally challenge this notion. I am content, and have been trying very hard, to be just a plant or a sheep, even a “doormat”. If it is my choice, I would never consider to serve in any so-called “ministry”, a very repulsive idea for me when hinted by others in my early day. From that time on, I have changed a lot, or rather, been changed, so I began to ponder on the implication of and have been yielding bit by bit to the calling He “pressed” upon me, with its particular directions and choices of life, vague and uncertain as they have been at times.
But somehow, I detected that, when I have to “openly” launch into it, it would be a watershed of my relationship with these dear ones, as a matter of fact, everyone else in the world. It tears my heart to think that I have to depart from them. And it terrifies me to envision a lonely life paved with the unknown and the uncertain. They are all I have. These are the most noble, loving and pure-hearted people I ever know. They would do anything for me as a “friend”, and they have been so gracious to me.
So I prayed that indeed if it is but my own desire or imagination to serve Him in the way I feel I have to. If THAT IS THE CASE, then may He make me stop and stripe everything down for me. Let me become but a child and not take on any “His Business”, if it is beyond me or it is not yet the season for me.
I thought of two imageries in my vague state of contemplation: a forest that displays the beauty of a natural order and a well-cultivated garden that displays the “man-made” order (things seem have to been arranged and “maneuvered”). I could not decide which is better, or rather, which is right. I thought I’d prefer the nature order, but somehow I knew it isn’t God’s intention. With that, I rolled into sleep and had this dream in the morning time.
Celebration of My Trip
The part I remembered started with a celebration. A feast or party was arranged to celebrate the completion of my recent voyage. I had captained a ship and made a round trip in a sea. I had successfully charted out a new course. In the dream, I saw a huge body of water located south to a massive land, a bit like the Mediterranean Sea and southern Europe. But then my vision changed. I saw a map with the sea of oval shape located inland. It is longer from West to East and the trip I made was from West to East then back. The map clearly showed that the water level became deeper and deeper from the northern shore to the center of the sea. It seems that in the past ships were only able to travel in the deep and treacherous water south to the two islands in the middle of the sea. My trip was the first made in the shallow and safe water along the northern land.
Our location was in the north-west corner to the sea in the land. It supposed to be my home, headquarter of my father’s business (Location A on the map). The people invited were all sea voyage people, working for my Father. Strangely, they were all young people. My father had a large shipping business, the only one out there transporting things on the sea. It seemed that traveling across the sea had been very difficult and the East part (north to the sea, Location B) remained a land of mystery, never reached by anyone of us. The people were very happy for my Father and me as they knew that my Father was very pleased with my accomplishment.
A Failed Rescue Mission
In the middle of the celebration, however, a message was taken through some radio communication. It was reported that one of our smaller ship was sinking in a raging storm (Location C). So father and I quickly communicated with a captain to recue it. He was just leading his fleet back from a voyage along the southern route. His was the nearest help. After he received his instruction, he began heading to the endangered ship. But the storm was very strong, so when he arrived at the island (Location D), he hesitated. Lingered for some time, finally, without consulting anyone, he decided to lead his fleet to another island to find safe harbor and left the sinking ship alone. It sank shortly after that.
It was obviously that the captain was from an older generation comparing to us young people, but a bit younger than my father. I have a sense he was all about business. He was confident that he had made the right decision in spite our strict order that he should go for the rescue against all odds.
My father did not want anyone to get lost. Everyone was like family to us.
My Uncle’s Garden
Then the scene changed. Now it seemed that father and I had journeyed on my ship to the north-east land (Location B) by the northern route which I had charted out earlier. The land actually belonged to my uncle and he had planted a garden there. Father and I walked in the garden and surveyed it. It was a rich land.
The first portion was planted with garlic, growing up with green leaves sprouting out very well. Father told me: “You like garlic leaves, taste some.” I felt a bit uncomfortable as the garden belonged to my uncle. But suddenly I recognized that all this land, like everything else, actually belong to my father. My uncle was but put in charge of the land. We were here to inspect how well he had taken care of the land. So I picked a leave and tasted it. It was really good.
After that we walked to a section where tomato was planted. Well, it was terribly done. Tomato plant should spread out. But no, this was done as if someone knew nothing of planting tomato. It all squeezed together. So the plants grew very thin and tall. Scarcely there was any fruit even it was the right season. I searched carefully, only to find two or three red small tomatoes and ate them. It was ok. But, father and I knew that this land was wasted. He remained silent this time, only watched me trying hard to spot the fruits here and there.
Somehow I knew these were the first produce of the garden. It was never harvested before.
End of dream.