Saturday, September 26, 2009

Costly but not Precious

In April 1999, one night, I had a dream. In my dream I was with my wife. She was carrying some shopping bags with things we had bought. I was carrying a baby. We were on the ground floor of a large multi-storey shopping center. It was like a typical restaurant/food court area in a shopping mall in Singapore. The walls were glass all around and you could look out and see the sea outside. Some distance out at sea there was an island with a tall building on it, like a hotel or some luxury seaside resort or something.

As we were looking around for a place to sit, I happened to look out at the island with the building on it and I was shocked to see that massive black clouds were gathering very rapidly over the island. It happened so quickly. All of a sudden it was like the whole black sky came crashing down, like the wrath of God fell on that island with a thunderous roar. It was so thick that you could not see the building on the island anymore. Everyone was looking at the phenomenon in utter shock. Then the darkness cleared and to everyone’s amazement, we saw the building toppling and crashing into the sea with a deafening sound.

While everyone stood frozen and horrified, somehow I knew that the building we were in was also going to come crashing down any moment. Somehow I knew that the building that fell was like the epicenter of an earthquake that sent shock waves out and it would bring everything down. But it was like no one else knew it. I yelled to everybody to get out of the building we were in, but no one listened.

I yelled to my wife but she was busy looking for the shopping bags. Somehow she had put them somewhere and couldn’t find them. She asked me, “Where are the bags?” I replied, “I don’t know. You were carrying them. Forget the bags! We have to get out NOW, RIGHT NOW!” She ignored me and kept looking for the bags. In desperation with one arm I hung on to the baby and with the other I yanked her away and we ran out of the building. Even though I kept yelling “Get out! Get out!”, no one else followed. The ground started shaking violently and just as we got out of the building, the whole building we were in came crashing down with possibly thousands of people in it. It was frightening. Then we were running down a street and all the buildings around us were crashing down like a Hollywood doomsday movie. It was absolute chaos, like the end of the world. People on the streets were fleeing in all directions in absolute terror as buildings after buildings fell.

All of a sudden the scene changed and it was like many people were following me as we were running and we came to a flight of steps going down a grass slope. I don’t know where we were running to but I was still carrying the baby. Just as we were about to run down the stairs it was like I somehow just knew that the stairs would collapse under us if we did that, so I yelled to everyone, “Don’t run down the stairs. It will also collapse. Follow me.” I ran to the side and ran down the grass slope. Many followed me, but many did not and ran down the stairs. Just then, the stairs collapsed just as I said it would. Then I woke up with my heart pounding at 100 miles an hour. The dream was so vivid I was trembling and it took me a while to calm down.

I knew this was no ordinary dream. I knew God was showing me something. And I had such a keen sense of the presence of God. The first thing I did I woke my wife up and told her the dream. We talked about the end times and wondered if God was telling us that we were going to have another baby, and what it would be like to bring kids up in the end times. We had decided not to have any more kids. We already had three. So is God going to give us another baby in such awful times? I couldn’t understand the dream. I kept thinking about the baby.

Later in the afternoon, I was stuck in a traffic jam. The A/C in my car wasn’t working well. It was hot and I was almost nodding off to sleep. I wasn’t even praying or thinking about the dream, when all of a sudden, in a flash, God spoke to me very clearly :

"Don’t you understand? The baby is not a real baby. It’s symbolic. It represents what is really precious. Just as the shopping bags are symbolic also. They represent what is costly but not precious. The buildings are also symbolic. They represent all the structures and institutions that man has built, and all the pride of man. They are all going to come crashing down. Go and tell them that everything that I have not built will collapse and it will come very suddenly. And tell them this – they had better know how to distinguish between what is really precious (the baby) and what is costly but not precious (the shopping bags). Unless they can distinguish between the two, they are all going be caught up in it (like my wife searching for the bags) and perish in the collapse of everything. Remember the stairs? That is also symbolic. It represents what is man-made. Far better to trust what I created (the grass slope) than trust what is man-made (the stairs). Go and tell them …"

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