For a thousand years

I had a dream almost 30 years ago, and my oldest daughter had one as well that drastically reshaped my approach to parenting and teaching my kids…

One Sunday as I was preparing for church Leahbeth had gotten up quite early and was sitting on the couch as I passed through…she said “Daddy did you know Jesus has a white horse?”

I said “Yes, I did know that” and walked into the kitchen…as I poured a cup of coffee it dawned on me that I did know, but how did she know?

So I went back into the living room and asked her “Baby, how did you know Jesus has a white horse?”…

She said “I saw it last night when I slept…He was riding it up in the sky and fire came out of His mouth and burned up all the evil people”…

I was quite stunned, she was three and we had never mentioned anything like this to her and pretty much knew she had never heard it before…

A year or so later I had a dream…in my dream I was very old…so old I was kind of confused and mentally not as sharp, but Leahbeth and her family were taking me to church…we went to this small little church and she said “Dad we are going to worship the Lord, so come down to the front like you always do…”

I went down to the front and as we all began to worship the Lord, the level of our intimacy drew heaven until Jesus could not be held back any longer and came to His bride because of the intimacy of life and worship…

I haven’t really modified much of my eschatology because of the dreams, that is always a work in progress and I had pretty much abandoned any dogmatic posture when I met Barney Combs in 1978 and he dismantled my doctrine…

But what challenged me most was that in both dreams there was a very clear and unmistakable connection to the future and she was only 3 at the time…

I realized then that if I wanted to insure my walk with the Lord until the end, (whatever that might mean) then I needed to pour into my kids a model of following Jesus that would guarantee my own development once I crossed that thresh hold of being the guy in charge…it meant developing a model of relationship that would work when my own ability to relate might be impaired…

I think every parent wants their kids to be successful, but its a little harder to trust your own success to a generation that follows you…that is a completely different metric…but it is the Biblical model.

I’m not talking about the “survival success”, you know the easy sort of excuse we can make when we say “Well we didn’t lose any, they are all serving the Lord, etc…”

That’s not success…that’s surviving…success is “Greater works than these…”

Its the difference between a 2nd generation CEO and his fathers company…most businesses where the son takes over never really do much more than what the son inherited…the exceptions are few and far between…

I discovered almost 30 years ago that my future success would depend upon my current ability to teach and model an intimacy that would transcend the generations…so I stopped hiding my failures…I stopped hiding my insecurities…I let them in on the world of my doubts, and I gave them the authority to correct me without fear…

As I have engaged a certain “dismantling” of my models lately…rediscovering the desert and a need for intimacy that goes beyond my need for legitimacy…my kids have all kind of told me…

“We told you so…” 

And sure enough most of what I am encountering now was prophesied, encrypted and painted in conversations I have had with them over the last few years…they were mostly here already…wondering why it took me so long…

It scares the heck out of me, but gives me peace as well…its a little like accidentally winning the gold medal in archery…you know you missed it…but somehow grace moved the target to be right where your arrow would land…

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One thought on “For a thousand years

  1. i like that last image – did you know that the old english word "synne", now spelt sin of course, is a word used in archery to describe what happens when and arrow is fired but it's such a dud shot it doesnt even get as far as the target. hence the double use in the verse in romans "for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God".:-)

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