Thursday, February 16, 2012

Chalkboard Path of Life

Göran and I have been cleaning out our basement, throwing out a lot of stuff that has accumulated over many years. We've probably tossed about 10 boxes of junk. We've also found a lot of cool stuff worth saving -- like all the wonderful wedding cards people gave us when we had our ceremony of commitment in 1995.

In one box -- 95% of whose contents I tossed -- I found this interesting dream I recorded on May 30, 1990.

I did, in fact, seriously consider going to Luther Northwestern Seminary, but ultimately decided not to when the Director of Admissions told me that he could only support my admission if I agreed to stay in the closet. I look at this dream now, and I see the seminary as a symbol of my commitment to prepare myself for whatever calling God had for me.


I was in a classroom with my seminar on the history of the Y.M.C.A. We were going to have an end-of-the-year party. The classroom contained a huge chalkboard which was very long. I was one of the first to arrive in the classroom – only Clark Chambers, the instructor, was there. I took a piece of chalk, and began to draw a long, winding, mountainous road on the chalkboard. The road went across cliffs and jagged peaks and deep down into valleys and through swamps and deserts. Dr. Chambers was watching me draw, and he was encouraging me to keep drawing. As I began to finish the picture, he said to me, “Now you have to draw in the trees! You must draw in the trees.” I didn't quite understand, so he explained to me further, “Often it's not until you reach the end of life's path that you can ever see the trees.” Then his face broke into a deep smile, full of wisdom.

So I went back to the beginning of the drawing, and I began to draw trees next to the path. As I drew, the chalkboard became three dimensional, and I found that I was no longer drawing trees, but building them. And the trees started out slender and branchless, but as I continued, I built great trees which branched out in many directions, and went far beyond the confines of the chalkboard, up into heaven. I had to climb up onto a counter, and hang from a partition on the ceiling in order to continue my work.

As I was thus working, classmates of mine began to enter, and they were all amazed by my work of art. Many of them began to walk from one end to the other, following “life's path.” A few of them (A.C., J.D., and P.H. – all of whom I believed to be Christians) came to me and said, “John, where are you going?” Each one of them wanted to know if I was going to seminary, and each one came to me one at a time, and repeated the question a couple of times: “Where are you going?” Each time I replied with a frown, and shook my head, and said, “I don't know. I don't know.” Finally the thought began to grow in my mind, “I am going to seminary.” I decided to fill out all the necessary forms and send them in immediately to Luther Northwestern Seminary in St. Paul, and I thought, “Whether they accept me or not, I will go.”

As I woke up, God said to me, “Go.” And I said, “Why me, God?” God replied, “Don't ask. Just go.”

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