“I go to make an altar
And to offer up my lamb.”
I remember questing after a song as old and as familiar as the first footfalls of time: I went to seek my place in this world.
But the adventure of becoming always lies along unfamiliar roads where the outcome is uncertain. We wander paths through the rugged wilderness and journey in times of darkness. Held aloft is our lamp of trust, which often illuminates the road ahead only once we’ve first taken a step into the unfamiliar. But we continue on in pursuit of a promise, one that assures us that our dreams were gifted for a reason and given by a craftsman whose tools work in wisdom and whose hands build with love.
However, as we walk along the way, it is inevitable for the dreamer to come to the place of sacrifice. A rugged pile of stones bars his path, and each traveler must understand that he cannot continue on until he has made a sacrifice, until he has offered up his dreams to their maker. The choices are limited. A dreamer may go back and seek another way ‘round (though he will find none that satisfy), or he may take up the stones, build an altar upon his knees, and offer up his lamb.
Do you remember dreams?
I remember lying beneath the covers, looking up to see the stars wink and nestle one by one in the silhouette bows of the oak tree. But the true hope of a dream must travel farther than fancy and burn with more passion than a heart full of stargazing.
A dream is tempered by trust in the crucible of its maker, and the dross of self is consumed only upon an altar. For though the feet may tremble to walk the shuddering bridge, the soul must find rest in the hands of the one who made it.
It is said that two men once asked the Lord for rain to bless their thirsty fields. Two men spoke words of trust, but only one prepared his fields in faith to receive the rain. Two men laid a prayer of incense before the altar, but only one placed his precious gift upon the stones, emptying his hands and stepping into the uncertain, preparing to receive whatever the Lord in his wisdom chose to give back.
The language of trust is the action of letting go, the practice of sacrifice. This is the song whose notes cry: not my will, and whose words achingly declare: no matter what happens. It is woven both of hope and contentment. If the Lord gives back, He is God. And if He does not, He is still God.
But dreams were made for a purpose, and the Lord makes neither accidental object nor useless gift. His love is boundless, His goodness is absolute, and He alone can make whole the hopes He instills.
Do you remember dreams?
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