Flirting with the Edge

Have you ever had a dream that felt so real? The kind of dream you wake up and you feel as if you have just been a participant in some event? I rarely remember my dreams, but the other night I had a dream I cannot forget.

In my dream, I was a part of a group of guys participating in a grueling workout in a college gym. It was the kind of workout where you push yourself to the edge. The kind of workout that when you finish you know that you have done something. It was the kind of workout where you know you are flirting with the edge.

The coach in the dream encouraged (polite way of saying yelled) that we need to run one more lap around the top of the gym. As I ducked around the steel pillar that the track went around, the track broke! I yelled to the guy coming up behind me to stop, he didn’t. I grabbed for the railing, but it was too late the other guy and I fell into the railing and were dangling about 50 feet above the ground. We were both hanging on to the railing which was disconnecting from its support. Our hands were sweaty, as we yelled for help. We had flirted with the edge and we may not make it.

There was a scurrying below us, as we heard people making calls on cell phones and trying to find a large ladder or something to help us. I knew the police were on their way, I knew people were trying to help us, but I didn’t know if our sweaty hands could hang on long enough. We had run too close to the edge and the result was we were now dangling from a railing, wondering if we were going to make it or not?

The problem with dreams is we usually wake up before the end of the dream. I woke up from this particular dream and felt as if it had meaning beyond just being a bizarre dream. I rarely have that type of sense, but that day I did.

I had just preached a sermon on the temptation of Jesus from Luke 4 and as I reflected on the dream I was drawn to that story. It seemed to be (this was in my head, not an audible voice), that Jesus was reminding me that I need to stay away from the edge of things that tempt me. Often, my tendency has been to flirt with the edge and it was as if Jesus was telling me to stay away from the edge, because sometimes the railing breaks.

I walked away from this dream thinking about how often going an “extra lap” isn’t that big of a deal, but the reality is that I want to draw closer to Jesus, not flirt with the edge. I don’t want my spiritual life to ever come down to whether or not my sweaty hands can hang on. I believe Jesus invites us to workout hard, but to make sure we are staying close to him all the while. If we seek him, we can overcome temptation. I believe that is his dream for you and me.

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