I thought I would share with you a dream I had last night and the lessons I learned from it.
I was at a party, for what reason, I don't know. (Does one ever know the purpose of stuff like this in a dream?) At one point, one of my friend's parents asked me to go get something from the convenience store down the street. I agreed and grabbed my keys, heading to the door. After being periodically stopped by random people who wanted to talk to me at the party, I made it out the door to my car.
It was twilight outside, and the house was about a mile away from the store. To get to the house I was at, you had to traverse down a long, dirt road which was about a ten miles long. Before you got to the house (about a quarter mile from the house) was a narrow, but very well constructed bridge that extended across a very deep and very wide ravine. The ravine cut very sharply into the rock and dropped about a two hundred feet. To prevent people from driving off the edge, large, four-foot high concrete dividers lined the sides of the bridge and along the road before getting to the bridge.
I got in the car and started down the road. I was playing my music and just enjoying the fading light of the sun. I crossed the bridge no problem, but as I crossed the bridge, I totally forgot the money to pay for the item. I slowed down, and did a three point turn on the small country road.
Trees and thick brush was on each side of the road, and as I backed up, I heard something grate along the bottom of my car. I winced, but I was already running late. Since the car seemed to be running normal, I continued on. As I straightened the car out and turned back towards the bridge, I sped up to the normal speed limit. Once I reached about 30 mph, the car started to rattle. I pressed the brake, but I didn't feel it working. I pressed harder, and it wasn't responding. I took my eyes from the road for a second to glance down to see if the pedal was broken by my foot. When I glanced back up, I saw my car drifting to the side of the road, to the only gap in the concrete blocks. Apparently, people had moved one of the concrete blocks to hike down the ravine. I tried to swerve the car, but the steering wheel was locked up and wouldn't respond to me. I reached for the emergency brake, but it was already too late.
The car screamed past the barricade and I was airborne, falling two hundred feet to my death.
In the few moments before the car went airborne, I remember being totally alert and awake. I can't say I panicked, because that implies I froze and couldn't move. The opposite happened: I was alert; I was alive. I did everything in my power to fix the situation. I couldn't fix it. So as I flew of the cliff, I remember this single thought: Since I couldn't fix it, I accept my fate. I knew I would die. Yet, this immense peace flooded over me.
Everything slowed down. It was like I was removed from my body--but I wasn't. It was so real. It didn't feel like a dream. I felt like I was literally falling. I wasn't afraid to die; I was ready to go home to my Lord. Honestly. The first thing I prayed was, "God, I'm ready to go home. I just ask you end it quickly. Could you flip the car over so I land on my head and die quickly?"
My thoughts quickly turned to my friends and family. I saw my friend's and family's faces flash through my mind. As I fell, I could literally see them, like they were in front of me. I didn't have any regrets, but I felt like there was unfinished business. I felt there was still more I could do to help them. Above all, one thought was so solid in my mind: I wished I could tell them one final goodbye; I wish I could tell them how much I love them.
So I started praying for them. I asked, "God, could you please let them know just how much I love them? Could you please take care of them and protect them? Guide them through their life and keep them so close to you."
All of this only lasted about ten seconds. At the last moment, the car inverted to where I was face-first with the ground. I leaned forward, ready to take the blow. I closed my eyes and said, "Take me home...."
I woke up before I hit. I sat up in bed thinking about what happened. I remembered my friends and family. The dream felt so real. I wasn't scared. I wasn't nervous. I didn't wake up in a cold sweat breathing hard. I just woke up.
I knew I hadn't died. I knew it was all a dream. But it still made me think. I thought about my friends and family and what they meant to me. I started to evaluate my own life: have I been the best friend/son/brother/boyfriend/citizen I could ever be? Have I been living like each day was my last?
The mantra of "Live like you are dying" has always been something I have tried to live by. Life is too short to be upset at people all the time. Life is too short to be critical and complain. Life is too short to hold grudges. Live your life. Live for what is right. Live for God. And remember to love. Love conquers all.
Following His Call,
1 Corinthians 13:13