Sunday, November 23, 2003

The Most Important Reindeer

Will had a dream last night that he told me about this morning before he even got out of bed. When I woke him up to get ready for church he opened his eyes and said, “Dad, I just dreamed that you were a reindeer.” I said that’s really weird Will, now hop up and get dressed. “And dad, you were the biggest, toughest reindeer. They were bringing other reindeer for you to teach them to fly. They brought Rudolf and I was proud that they asked you to teach the most important reindeer how to fly.” I must have been tough, now hop up, ok”?
Now, had I not been so inflated by being the “biggest, toughest reindeer”, I probably would have been immediately challenged by the reminder of my huge responsibility that Will had just given me. All day I thought more and more deeply about this awesome task of teaching the most important reindeer to fly, especially since I, in fact, am not the biggest, toughest reindeer.
Then, this afternoon I referred to the dream and Will said, “Oh yeah, dad, instead of Rudolf having his light on the end of his nose, it was right in the middle of his forehead.” Instantly, I knew that this was more than me just making cute application from my son’s dream description. Even more than an intentional reminder from God through Will. This dream was for him too. This was a God-produced thing. This had bearing on both our futures and our now together.
Tonight when I tucked him into bed I told him that I thought I’d interpreted his dream. I asked him if he knew what that meant. Yes, he said, and he asked me what my interpretation was. I told him that I thought he dreamed that I was the biggest, toughest reindeer because he was glad that I was his dad. He agreed. Then I asked him if he knew who the most important reindeer was.
“No,” he said.
“YOU, Willby, I have the awesome task of teaching YOU to fly.”
“Dad, is the flying a metaphor? Dad, do you think that this dream came from God?”
“There is no doubt in my mind that this dream came from God.”
“Do you think it means that I will lead a large group of people?”
“It could mean that you will lead a small group of people, like eight. Or even one.”
“Do you think it might mean that I will be a teacher?”
“Or a missionary, or…”
“But Dad, what about the nose way up in the middle of his forehead?”
“In your dream, you thought he was the most important reindeer even though his nose was in the wrong place. Maybe his light was even easier to see because it was placed there. Anyway, you’re always worrying about your faults and imperfections, beating yourself up all the time. Can you see what this says about you?”

I wish everyone could have seen Will’s face as he contemplated having been the recipient of direct encouragement from God. Consider the possibility that the things that bother you the most about yourself could be intentional tools designed by God for His purposes. Will went there tonight. How much easier it is to face challenges and disappointments when they are not about you. There is a purpose. There is purpose. We serve an intentional God. Blessed are those whose ears are open to hear Him whisper His intentions. Or give us clues. Or spark the imagination of a child to wonder what it is that God will have him do. Be. Become. I’m blown away.
Meanwhile, I’ve got to teach the most important reindeer to fly. Can you imagine? How is this possible? Such heavy bones. So many tethers. Head winds. Fatigue. Comforts on the ground. Tangling antlers. And that goofy light in the middle of the forehead. How are these overcome to lead on, shine the light, and deliver the gift to all who need it? How do I stay one step ahead of his lessons?
Pray for me. I’ve got a precious protégé. A fragile disciple. The most important reindeer.

© 2003 rod lewis