Sunday, September 28, 2014

Shadows of the Past

My question of late has been how to deal with the past. The good memories, the regrettable mistakes, the lessons learned. And the times that seem to be a mix of all three. The other night (Erev Yom Teruah), I had the following dream:

In the dream, I was part of a community that had recently moved on to a new town. I don't remember much of the old town, except that there was a feeling we had left to escape something.

On this day a train came through (shortest train I ever did see), but the caboose detached as it was passing through our town. Concerned for the passengers, we naturally gathered  to open it up. But, there weren't any people in there. Instead there was a single large box filled with little slips of paper.

As we went through the slips of paper, we saw that they were ticket number--our ticket numbers. I quickly found mine, 424. For each of the tickets, there was a corresponding piece of paper that seemed eerily familiar. They were the curses we were trying to to escape from, the sins we had tried to leave behind.

I knew immediately what had to be done. I tore my paper slips in half in an effort to break the curse. Being a dream, this scene repeated several times. Sometimes I successfully tore the ticket in half; sometimes I didn't. The felt like memorabilia. They were a part of me. Sometimes there was the fear that there was no way to defeat the curse (perhaps tearing the paper would even make it worse). This last one was what I sensed from the people around me.

I decided to arrange a town meeting. I would collect all the tickets and then distribute them out. I would preach Yeshua as our King and freedom from sin and the curse. Then everyone would tear their tickets in half and throw them back into the box to be burned once and for all. That it, if they didn't throw me off the stage first.'

I knew when I asked to speak at the next town meeting that I couldn't reveal what it would be about. There was too much fear in the town. The lady in charge asked me randomly, "Is your presentation about a battle?" with a strange glee in her eyes. I answered, "Of sorts."


Yeshua said, "If your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out." There are things we need to tear our of our lives. The past can sometimes hold onto us with a deathlike grip. Sometimes there's that one sweet spot that we just can't let go of despite the fact that it's mixed with poison.

I'm a packrat myself, so I could feel the emotional impact of the metaphor in the dream. I keep all this "stuff" that I will never use, that is just weighing me down. We need to ask ourselves, "Is this contributing to life?" If not, consider letting it go. Surrender it to God. You don't have to carry these burdens anymore.

We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. [Rom 6:6-7 ESV]

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. [2Co 5:17 ESV]

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