Last week I had a dream.
I was standing by a lake in an underground cavern. The water was fierce, the waves were foaming and crashing and a dragon emerged from the chaos. There was a sword in my hand and I knew that that dragon was trying to eat the person who was with me. And so I fought. I remember it well, the swirling darkness, the swirling water, flashes of teeth and scales and fire. I don’t know how long the battle lasted by eventually the monster retreated back into the depths of the lake. Well, the dream progressed and the cave was left behind up until the scene after the last scene (can a dream have an epilogue?). I was older, a lot older, and once again found myself by the underground lake. Only this time things were totally different. The air was still, and light had penetrated the darkness. The water was as smooth as glass and just as clear. I could see all the way to the bottom of the lake and there was no sign of any dragon. In fact there had never been a dragon at all. At that point I realized: all the things I had thought were my greatest victories were only figments of my imagination. For a moment there was a sense of sorrow (“Oh no, I’m not the hero I thought I was”) but that was quickly replaced by an overwhelming sense of calm. Although I had lost my hero status the monsters had not only lost their power but their very existence. This cave was not a battleground, it was a place of beauty, a place of peace.
And then I woke up.
Somewhere in there I think there is a lesson about what it means to be humbled by God. It’s a liberating humility, one that is accompanied by a sense of peace a feeling that, “yes, this is okay, this is how it should be” because it recognizes God’s sovereignty. It frees us from carrying the world on our shoulders and allows us to recognize that God is, after all, in the business of making all things new.