by Neal Stone
The other night I had a dream. I dreamed I was 12 years old and walking through a field. As I walked I saw a long line of people standing at the edge of a great cliff. In some places there were gaps and others walking with me would walk through the gaps and disappear over the edge.
As I walked towards the edge someone grabbed my arm and said “Stand with us and in the gap.” I asked why and he said “Because those who fall through the gap fall to death and destruction. To eternal torment and are lost forever. Stand in the gap and be saved and help to save others.”
He then continued saying “If you stand in the gap, your sins will be forgiven. You will be free and God will prosper you with a life of peace, love an joy. You will then live with God for all eternity in heaven and he will soon come to close the gaps and take us all home to live forever with him.”
I would hear others cry “Who will stand in the gap? Who?” I could feel it tugging on my heart and I so wanted to stand in the gap and help save the lost.
I was in tears now as the words he was saying touched my heart. “I will stand in the gap!” I cried and so I stood in the gap and I now made it my job to warn others to turn and stand in the gap with us. When someone got passed us and feel, I would sob and cry for their loss. How sad they chose to ignore the warning of impending doom and fall to their destruction. But after a while I wouldn't feel so sorry. After all, it was their choice not mine. But in the end, I still felt sad knowing they made that choice. How could they after all, choose to die and fall to their destruction?
So there I stood standing in the gap and trying my best to stop others from falling. From time to time, I would be tempted to turn around and look at what was over the edge, but those standing with me would stop me and scold me. Forbidding me from looking.
Sometimes I would get tired and discourage and have doubts. I would try and let go, but the others standing there would hold on tighter telling me to have faith and just believe. Be strong and have good courage would be the sermon. After all the master is coming soon, any day now. He will free us and we will live forever with him in glory. Ok, I would hold on a little longer.
Once in a while one of us standing there would let go and then leap over the edge to what I perceived would be his doom. “He was never one of us!” they would cry. Even if it was someone who had stood in the gap for decades. How could this be? How could someone who for so many years stood in the gap and help save so many not be one of us after all? It made no sense. Why would they quit after all these years? Some were even teachers and told us better ways to close the gap and why it was so important. So why would they quit? What did they see that changed their mind?
I would have more doubts and fears now. I would share these from time to time with the others only to get scolded and accused. The more I asked questions and shared my doubts the more I got scolded. Finally I got called to talk to one of the leaders. It would be a long hard talk.
I was accused of not having enough faith, not giving everything I had and not trusting the leader. I was not giving enough nor trusting enough and I should desire to do what is right.
I grew weary and sick and tired of it all. It made no sense. I would watch as those of us who did all the work got ignored while those who took credit for others work got praised and lifted up.
Finally, I snapped. “I can't do this anymore!” I cried. Others standing there were shocked. They would try to counsel me, but I refused. I yanked my arms from from the others and spun around.
There before me was a great cliff and I stood on the edge. As I looked down I saw a thick fog. It prevented me from seeing what was below. I found out that the leader put the fog there to protect us from seeing what was below. But I wanted to know and there was only one way to find out.
I stood there my arms stretched out at my sides. I could feel the warm sun and a gentle breeze across my face and fingers.
I looked back at those I stood with all these years. Some turned away while others looked on. I then turned back and looked down at the fog. It was time to decide. Jump or stay?
I smiled...then I made my decision.
Online Reading List
- An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish by Bertrand Russell (1943)
- Bible Teaching and Religious Practice by Mark Twain
- God is Imaginary
- Is there an Artificial God? by Douglas Adams (1998)
- Skeptics Annotated Bible
- The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine (1795)
- Which Way? by Robert Ingersoll (1884).
- Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell (1927)