Herald Journal Columns
Jan. 23, 2006, Herald Journal

A teenager’s dream


The month of January always brings to mind a new start, a new beginning, a new challenge, a crisp new feeling from within.

It is a time to set aside bad habits or attitudes and start with little steps in a forward motion of trying to rebuild or to master something good, or to better something in your life. Even if it’s just one little issue, it’s still the attitude of, “Yes, I want to try.”

Take little steps. One step at a time, daily. Pray about what you’re doing, think about what you’re doing, and meditate about what you’re doing.

Take time to write down what you’re trying to accomplish, and with a clear, focused mind, most importantly . . . let it be of good, to yourself and those around you.

Then, remember – just one step at a time. If at any point you feel like you are drowning, start over, take a deep breath, exhale, and go forward, one step at a time, with the attitude of, “Yes, I want to try!”

A teenage girl once had her own rare and interesting dream about the start of her new year. She woke up hysterical, her hands were clammy, she was drenched in sweat, and her heart was pounding. She even flew up from a laying position to a sitting position, with an extreme feeling of awe.

Her first thought was, “I have to tell someone about my dream. I just have to.” As her mind was searching for an answer, it came to her. “I have to tell my pastor!” she exclaimed.

Sunday came and she announced to her mother and father that she was going to go to church because she had something very important to tell her pastor. Both her mother and her father looked at each other with a concerned look on their face and questioned, “You’re going to church to talk to our pastor?”

The teenager was so excited, she was even trembling. Her mother was astounded and questioned her, “Is there something wrong? Did something happen?”

The teenager just smiled and replied, “I can’t keep this to myself. My pastor will want to hear about my dream.”

When the teenager entered church, she whispered in the pastor’s ear. He gave a smile and said, “Everyone will want to hear about your new year’s dream.” The mother and father shrugged their shoulders and took a pew with their daughter.

The church service went on like normal. But at the end of the service, the pastor paused and looked at the congregation, and then turned and looked up at Jesus on the cross.

It was silent in the church. Then, the pastor said, “I have a young teen who has something to tell you of importance. She had an awesome dream about the new year that she would like to share.”

The pastor turned again, looked at Jesus on the cross, and then turned to look at the teenager. The teen exhaled, walked up to the podium, and began her story about her new year’s dream.

“I had a dream,” she said. “It was a different kind of a dream. I was handed three candles.

“They weren’t just your ordinary scented candles, they were the most precious gift. They were candles of faith, hope, and love.

“I was told that everywhere on the path of life that I would go, they were a light to my path. I enjoyed the warmth and the glow of their light.

“As I traveled on the path of life, I faced obstacles. There were mountains to climb. Sometimes, I would run to the top of the mountain and rejoice in the glorious view.

“Then, it was back to the valleys. In the valleys, I met many challenges, but I also had companions who walked with me, step-by-step, through every obstacle. And along the way, the candles – faith, hope, and love – guided me.

“From within, a mocking voice spoke. It laughed at my pain and confusion; it told me there was no hope; it grabbed for my candle of hope, and I screamed in sorrow as the candle blew out.

“The evil voice raged once again, telling me that all was lost. I reached out for the candle of faith and held on with all my strength. But the whirlwind spun harder and faster, and my weak, broken hands could hold on no longer. The candle of faith blew out, too.

“Then, a voice from within the whirlwind laughed heartily and said, “Give me the candle of love!”

“I shook with fear. Hopelessness and confusion swirled around in my mind, but at this darkest moment, a mighty voice spoke to the whirlwind.

“‘No,’ the voice said. ‘The candle of love is not for you to take. Go away. This child is Mine.’

“Then, the voice said to me, ‘Be calm, My child. Your journey is not over yet.’

“The candle of love was raised, still burning, and it lit the candles of hope and faith again for me.”

The congregation was amazed to hear the teen’s story. The pastor thanked her for sharing it. Then he turned, looked at Jesus on the cross, and said, “May we all encounter, this year, a lit candle of hope, faith, and love.”

The mother and father looked at their daughter, and then at Jesus on the cross. The father softly said to his daughter, “What a wonderful dream you had to share.”

And then, the mother put her hand on the daughter’s shoulder and said, “If you did not notice, the pastor turned and looked at Jesus. This means that Jesus works in our lives in mysterious ways . . . for the good.”

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