Whether late 2013 or early 2014, I cannot recollect. Had a dream that would stick with me for at least a few years. Hopefully a lifetime. Starts out, I’m running a Tough Mudder event with my friend Scott. Backdrop: Tough Mudder is a mud race that travels all over the U.S – and if I remember correctly, a little internationally as well. Its premises is based of British boot camp drills that promotes teamwork to a finishing the mission. Together. As one.
Previous to the dream, I’d run two other TM races. One near Charlotte. One near Dallas. Both lived to be beyond expectation, and not in ways that I’d expected. I’ll explain that here in a bit.
Arlington, TX was where the pillow met my head. Moved there from Fort Mill, SC and stayed for 8 months. In the dream however, the race was staged in Peoria, IL, the city I’m from. Not only that, it was in my mom’s back yard, or rather what I knew it to be, as dreams have a tendency to transform reality, and yet you somehow still recognize their origin. Maybe that’s just me.
The dream follows with Scott and I running into an old friend of his. The man was older, literally. I discerned him as to have much wisdom, aside even his balding head with white hair there remaining. Immediately, did I desire to learn from him. Turning to Scott, I asked if he wouldn’t mind me running with his friend instead. He assured me it was just fine. The old man didn’t seem to mind either. Possibly, that was the plan all along, though I did not know it at the time. I’ll explain that one shortly here as well.
As we ran, the old man kept growing further and further away. Eventually, he escaped me all together. Frustrated at this point, and feeling all alone, I decided the best thing to do was stop and wait for Scott. That happened, and we ran together once again.
From that time til now, I’ve been trying to decipher the dream’s interpretation. It wasn’t long after the fact that I packed up and moved back to Peoria. Hadn’t planned it that way. What I mean is that there was no intentionality on my behalf to somehow cause this dream come true. What would happen however, is that life, via God’s most loving, helpful hand, would lead me down the path toward revelation.
I’ll be honest, until recently, I surmised the old man was wrong for doing what he’d done. That I was probably going to find myself, in life, with someone (could almost even tell you who) ran far too fast, leaving me to wallow in their dust. Eventually, God would relieve me from that situation and lead me back to someone like Scott, whose leadership/camaraderie was of far greater quality. Now, I can see that the old man was indeed very wise. He was showing me what I MYSELF had been presently guilty of. Ouch!
My idea of greatness mattered more of a “look what I can do” kind of reality, verses a “look how I can live through Christ Who strengthens me” mentality. We all like to look and feel important. Jesus, being the ultimate example of leadership/camaraderie, came to serve, even to the point of laying down His life. Death. That’s leadership? Emphatically, “Yes!”
I know there’s a lot of talk about “team” these days. And yet, the end game still seems to horde the lust for self-promotion. This masquerade, though nothing new, is far too prevalent among us, even in the church. But I dare not go there. The finger is always best pointed at self. Eye. Log. Speck of dust and such.
This year, I’m gonna run another Tough Mudder. It’s been a few. I’m looking forward to it! And what I wanted to say earlier about the race, is that it’s really not a race at all. That is, you’re not timed. There are no trophies for coming in first, second, or third. There are however, rewards for finishing – with your team. That’s my story. Probably there’s more to it. I just don’t yet know what it is I still don’t know