Hopelessly Lost

 

I had a dream a few nights ago. The dream started off OK but as time progressed it became more and more worrisome to me until I finally woke up. The details are rather vague now as I am writing this but the essence of it remains very clear.

 

I was with someone, I donít know whom, and we decided to go somewhere, I donít know where. This much seems clear we were in a familiar place as we left and our destination was not far off and seemed to be a place we knew, or knew of, but perhaps hadnít been to in quite some time if at all. As we left all was well and I was confident in my ability to take us to our destination. It wouldnít be long and we would be there. But as I approached my first waypoint things began to go awry. I was not where I thought I should be. Not to worry. A little adjustment and we will be back on track. It didnít work out that way. Every, ďAdjustmentĒ ended the same way with more confusion. Before long I lost my confidence. The harder I tried the worse our situation became. Now not only was my confidence gone but I actually became perturbed and bewildered. Not knowing what to do or where to go my frustration became near panic. I was no liking this at all. Something like fear became to creep in. It was here that I began to realize it was a dream and shortly after that I decided to abandon the dream and I woke up.

 

So did the dream have any meaning? Was there a lesson or prophecy involved or was it simply the result of an overactive imagination in the middle of the night. Personally I think there is a message for me and for you. The day before the night of the dream I wasnít happy with any of the ideas for a sermon I had entertained. So of course I began to pray about it throughout the day. When I went to bed I still had not received an answer. When I woke up I found the answer had been sent while I was asleep. It was as though the Lord had said, ďTalk about being hopelessly lost!Ē These two scriptures were in my mind.

*†† (Luke 19:10 NIV)For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost."

*†† (Eph 2:11-13 NIV)Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called "uncircumcised" by those who call themselves "the circumcision" (that done in the body by the hands of men)-- {12} remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. {13} But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.

 

Perhaps you can identify with me as I relate how I now see the dream and what I think about it.

 

As a young man I was general confident, unafraid, and quite sure of myself. The words of a song describe me quite well. They may describe many of you too.

 

Once upon a time there was a tavern
Where we used to raise a glass or two
Remember how we laughed away the hours
And dreamed of all the great things we would do

Those were the days my friend
We thought they'd never end
We'd sing and dance forever and a day
We'd live the life we choose
We'd fight and never lose
For we were young and sure to have our way.
La la la la...
Those were the days, oh yes those were the days

Then the busy years went rushing by us
We lost our starry notions on the way
If by chance I'd see you in the tavern
We'd smile at one another and we'd say

Those were the days my friend

Just tonight I stood before the tavern
Nothing seemed the way it used to be
In the glass I saw a strange reflection
Was that lonely woman really me

Those were the days my friend

Through the door there came familiar laughter
I saw your face and heard you call my name
Oh my friend we're older but no wiser
For in our hearts the dreams are still the same

Those were the days my friend

You may have noticed that the song ends with the observation that weíre older but no wiser. We can go through a lifetime and never find our way, at least not on our own. But we donít have to be very wise, just wise enough. Wise enough to know that Jesus is our wisdom, our answer, the way, and the truth, and the life.

*†† (John 14:6 NIV)Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

 

You may also have noticed that in the dream I never asked for help or directions. Sure Iím a guy and we are well known for our reluctance to ask for directions. That said, it would have made a lot of sense if I had. We go through life like that. Never sure of where we are going but unwilling to ask for help from the one who could give us direction and meaning in our lives. Without Christ we truly are lost and without hope, unless we wake up!

*†† (1 John 2:2-4 NIV)He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. {3} We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. {4} The man who says, "I know him," but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

*†† (Acts 4:12 NIV)Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."

 

The truth is simply this, all have sinned, all need help to find the way out of the hole they have dug, all want a better life, a perfect life, a life that is eternally blissful with meaning and purpose. Unfortunately not enough know how to get where they want to go. That has to be a scary place to be. You might think some people donít even know they are lost. That might be true but it certainly isnít true for most people. Most people can look at where they are in life and where they might have been and realize that chance played a bigger role in their life than did their wisdom. So even if they like where they are now will they like where they end up? It is important that they wake up, that we stay awake and alert, and that we understand how to get where we want to go. The answer is simple, find and follow Jesus. He will get you there.

 

(John 14:6 NIV)Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

 

(Mark 8:34-36 NIV)Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. {35} For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. {36} What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?