August 14, 2018 by maryruwe
This week we are talking about getting out of our comfort zones, from a dream I had a couple of years ago, after praying for our children, grandchildren; the children of friends, children in our church and across our Nation. Though we may have other areas where we have comfort zones, this particular dream is about taking our responsibilities, mostly as Christians, to teaching, training, and protecting children.
DREAM: One sunny day ten to twelve young children were playing in a park; adults were sitting nearby mostly just visiting but not really paying too much attention to the children. Some of the adults even commented on how “cute they were”.
The children kept wondering further and further away from the adults. Then all at once three, maybe four, children darted away from the group, running, laughing and having a good time. Three of the adults started after them to bring them back to the group before they reached the traffic in the road. The children ran down the partly grassy and partly rocky small hill toward the busy street. They crossed the street running into the parking lot on the other side.
As the three adults caught up with them, a lady in the apartment building opened the door to her dog out. One of the children ran over to her and she just let the child in, not seeming to care that she/he was with us. That dog stood staunchly in the yard barking, guarding the not-too-inviting-door of the apartment building. The adults stopped for a moment at the edge of the sidewalk; then one decided that facing the dog was worth the risk in order to reach the child who had wondered inside. Once a step was taken the dog became quite and backed down. The other two stayed with the other children outside.
As she reached the door she could hear the lady and the child talking but couldn’t quite understand what they were saying. After pausing for a moment, calculating the risk of entering into the unknown territory, she decided to open the door. The entrance looked well-kept but narrow. The flowered wallpaper on the walls reminded her of what her Grandmother had in her home. The lady and the child were talking and moving around from one room to another. Then, all was quiet. Nothing could be heard. THAT’S WHEN I WOKE UP!
At first I thought this was just a weird dream, but then saw some lessons to learn and some questions to ask.
The first question is why did the adults allow the children to play so far away that they couldn’t protect them? After all when young children are playing, they are not necessarily trying to run away. In fact may even think it a “catch me if you can” game and not realize they are wondering away. The children in my dream were younger but this can even happen to teenagers. We need to keep a close-watchful-relationship with our children so we are aware of how they are being pulled away by the influence of the world. This is not to say we should desire to keep them under our control but for teaching them how to be careful, alert, and deal with life correctly. When we feel or become isolated then we become prey of the enemy’s lies. (1 Peter 5:8)
The second question is why were there only three adults that went after the run-away-children? I see this problem even in the churches today; seems like volunteers are always needed and so few accept the challenge or responsibility. Yes responsibility. It takes commitment to take on a Sunday School Class or other group of young people and lead them into adulthood. It takes time and energy. Remember, in the dream, there were several adult in the “park” but only the three who actually were caring for the children. Seems like a lot of people just want to sit by as spectators rather than be participants, not willing to teach and train our children. Where are our leaders today? Let’s get out of our comfort zones and care enough to help lead our young people. There really is no excuse for staying in our comfort zones that are lined with fear. Fear is a tactic and tool of the devil. If he can keep us frozen in our fears, then we will never reach or even try to reach the potential that God has already placed in us. We must overcome fear in order to walk in victory; God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)
The third comparison is that of the “busy street”. It could represent decisions a person makes that lead them from the “known” to the “unknown”. The apartment building represents the unknown, where a person can be drawn into and away from their family, friends, and church. The dog barking represents different kinds of problems that dissipate when we take control over our fears. The lady from the apartment building who opened the door represents the devil that is always ready to use every opportunity to pull our children into his kingdom of destruction. Hearing the lady and the child talking means that we still have personal opportunity to reach the child and bring to safety. Their silence could mean we lost that personal opportunity and they are out of our reach. However, as Christians we know that no one is ever out of God’s reach.
We are to take seriously our responsibility to teach and train our children so they will grow up in the admonition of the Lord; running their race and fulfilling their purpose in the Kingdom of God. We are to pray and serve in God’s Kingdom. We are the laborers in His Kingdom. We are His ambassadors to the world. Let us live our lives holy unto God so that others can see His love, forgiveness, kindness and caring, and be drawn to Him. (Proverbs 22:6) (Mathew 9:35-38) (Ephesians 6:4) (2 Corinthians 5:20)