The following is one of three really special dreams I had a good number of years back, a very meaningful time of my life, and has put perspective on much of my life’s experiences since.
There have been many meaningful dreams throughout my life, some of them even recent, but none match this one and another I call “The Old Man” in detail and meaning.
I’ll do my best here to describe the dream I know as “Three Warriors and a Lamb” as I remember it now many years later in as much detail as if I’ve just awakened from it. I wish I could fully describe the many details, thoughts, actions and emotions involved in this vivid dream and paint you detailed pictures of all my eyes saw that day, what I heard, how I felt (both in weakness and strength) and what the old man was like that I feel so much love for, owe my life to and desire to be like today more than ever.
I’d like you to see the poor, innocent, weak and weary lamb that was caught and kept prisoner for so long but is now anything but poor and prisoner at the conclusion of the dream. Words alone will not be able to show you everything I experienced that wonderful night but words are all I have. I’ll do my best to preserve this particular dream here with the best words I can find to adequately describe it, perhaps to have some meaning to even someone other than myself one day.
The dream begins with me and two other young men who are my closest friends and comrades. We appear to be young and in the peak of health due in most part to intense training from one old man who has taken us in and raised us as his own, training us in every way for what he shares to be a single mission that will take all the skills, strength and mental and spiritual focus that we could possibly muster to pull off. But, the reward of accomplishing the mission will be so rewarding that it will forever change our lives, the life of the rescued and many others in the future!
We are being trained on the top of a beautiful hill overlooking the very valley that contains the location of our mission. I see a good number of healthy, green trees around us. They don’t look really tall but they are healthy, strong and full of leaves. There is also brush and small plants as well and flowers here of many different colors. The land is healthy and beautiful, so unlike what can be seen in the distance across the deep and long valley below.
The three of us are wearing white garments of some type that remind me a lot of the pictures I’ve seen of biblical times. They’re clean and bright. When we are training, I see swords in our hands but do not recall any other weapons used. As we train with each other, I hear laughter and joking but the training at hand is taken very seriously none the less, the old man sharply sees to that.
The old man is considerably older than us and, for reasons we are unable to fully understand in our youth, has taken us in as his own sons. He too is wearing a white garment yet his is longer, coming to his ankles where ours end just below our knees. He does not speak much though when he does it is always meaningful, usually profound, and we have learned to pay attention and strive to learn from every word he spends the energy to share. He is hard on us, very hard, yet in a loving way I can’t adequately describe. We do not fear him at all but would do anything and everything to please him and return the love he shows for us. I remember his eyes the most, they always seem to be on you. Oh, and a smile that is the goal of us all to earn as we train.
He has a legendary past among the people and is well known for his own feats of battle, leadership skills and knowledge of life and spiritual matters. He could no doubt have a large following, be wealthy from sharing and teaching his knowledge and skills to many for a price and live life with a celebrity status. But, he has chosen to live a very private life with the three of us, devoting himself fully to instilling everything that he is in us, to carry on his life and purpose and fulfill a very special mission which only he is aware of right now.
We are trained long and hard and our every move and action has to be exact to meet the old man’s approval. Every much as difficult as the physical is the mental training. We can have absolutely no doubt, no loss of courage and focus and no matter what we see, experience and face on that fateful day, we absolutely must prevail and succeed, there are no other options, the mission is that important. It is the purpose of our very lives, why we were born and chosen and the future of many depends on us.
The day has arrived! We are dressed, armed and begin our trek down the hill to the valley below. The old man stays behind, this is our journey and mission, his work and purpose has now been served and we are on our own. I have a tendency to look back from time to time to see if he is still there and he always is, looking intently at me as if we are only feet away when we are really a good distance by now. Even from the growing distance, I can see his eyes and his smile, the two parts of him I most treasure in my heart.
The mood is quite among the three of us. We’re not really nervous, scared or anything like that, we are confident in our training, it’s just the reality of the seriousness of what lies ahead and the knowing that we will see and experience things that we could not be totally prepared for in all our years of training. We were told of an enemy we would most likely meet that can instill fear, doubt and total loss of courage in the strongest of men. Many lives have been sadly lost to giving up and allowing the lies that he projects to be their reality. It does not have to be so, but they can see nothing else and know of no other way, thus become prisoners of a lie and live out a wasted and sad life.
There is one that has been caught and held prisoner by this enemy. A life that is most precious and comes from spiritual stock, a family full of love and experiential knowledge of the principles and laws of success, joy and happiness. Somewhere, early in his life he met with certain life experiences that knocked him down and demonstrated to him that within his own strength, he is no match for his opponent.
There is an innate weakness in us all when we try to succeed in life based on the confines and limitation of our own knowledge, our own decision making abilities and our own strength, we find enemies that “appear” to be much stronger than us and will often succumb to them unaware of the greatness that truly lives in us that we can call upon in such times.
Sometimes a defeat serves it’s real purpose and teaches us where we went wrong and strengthens us in our resolve to make wiser decisions and actions based on those decisions and places an important place holder in our mind that says “note to self, I’m not doing that again!” By experiencing the one defeat and learning from it, we have perhaps avoided many others, some much greater in cost.
Other defeats unfortunately knock us down and cause fear and doubt in our confidence to move forward toward a successful life for fear of making yet another mistake that could cost us even more. And one defeat following another can make you a complete prisoner to fear and doubt if no intervention is experienced.
Such is the story of the young lamb we have been sent to rescue!
A long journey from the hill we left, deep in the valley now, the ground around us has changed a lot from what we were accustomed to on higher ground where we were born, raised and trained. The land is now very dry and hot. I no longer see trees of any kind and only small brush here and there that is very dry and unhealthy looking. There is cactus spread out that we are careful to walk around seeing the mean looking spines sticking out from them and laying on the ground around them like spears, waiting for their prey. The ground is a redish brown color and hard.
Up ahead, there is what looks to be a large, shallow hole in the ground. As we approach the hole, the sides are steep but not very deep, maybe a couple feet at most. As we look into the hole, we see the very purpose of our journey! There, against one side, tied to some kind of old tree root that appears to come out of the side and back into it is a small lamb.
Somehow in this dream, I seem to transition and am now this small lamb and can see through it’s eyes, feel it’s every pain and the tremendous weakness of body and mind. I can keenly feel the defeat, depression and loss of hope.
The lamb is standing but barely. He appears to be very weak and weary and dirty from the red dirt. The lamb recognizes that we are there but hardly has the strength to look up. His body looks so frail as if he’s been here a good while and very malnourished from lack of water and food.
But more than the frailness in his body is the frailness and defeat in his eyes. From where we are, we can see that the short, dried up, old piece of rope that is holding the small lamb to that old root could probably be easily broken having very little strength to actually bind him there. But the lamb obviously is totally unable to realize that from the many times he’s been beaten down and held back. He has no way of knowing that if he were to exert all his strength, it’s likely he could break this rope and be free from the root.
The hole is also not very deep. In fact, the lamb can see out of the hole and way off in the distance can even see the lush green hill from which we came. This is fortunate because just his being able to see what looks to be green, lush terrain so far away and feel some even small feeling inside him that perhaps that’s his home, where he came from, and now longs to return to has been the only source of strength to keep him alive while held prisoner in this hole.
Some days he realizes that this is probably a mirage, a creation in his own mind of a life he wishes so much he could live but the reality is, he’s stuck here in this hole, lonely, starving and too weak to hardly think, much less climb out even if he could free himself of this rope and root. Other days he musters all the mental strength he can to try and believe that it is a real place, that perhaps that really is where he came from and a successful and happy life awaits his return.
He prays day in and day out for God’s miraculous help and intervention in his life of bondage. He vows that should he find a way out and can somehow gain enough physical and mental strength, he will devote his life to learning the laws and principles that govern success, joy and happiness in life and do everything in his power and strength to share what he has learned, his own success story, with others that may be where he is now in their lives.
He vows this with all his heart, but it is of course contingent on him finding a way out of this hole, this rope and this root when he hasn’t even the strength right now to hardly move. Where does he gain the strength from, there is no food or water or shelter from the hot sun above to be had within his reach? From everything he can see around him, he is doomed to die where he is once he loses all the strength and hope he has left, which feels like precious little.
Now, out of his squinted and weak eyes, it looks like there is something white just outside the hole looking down on him. The lamb hardly even recognizes the color white but oh it is so beautiful.
Another dream transition, I am back in the young soldier’s body and mind.
My two friends stay up top and I jump into the hole. When I reach the small lamb, I reach down and grab the rope and yank on it, both breaking it and the root. It took very little of my strength to break them both causing me to realize just how weak this little lamb really is. I reach down and gently lift the lamb up into my arms and walk out of the hole. I can feel his frail little body and from the looks of him, I hope and pray that we can make the distance back home in time. We begin our return journey with me carrying the small lamb gingerly against my breast, stroking him and talking to him, assuring him he will be ok now. He tries to look up at me and I can feel him trying to say thank you and just believe that this is even real.
A short distance from the hole, things begin to change really quick. Looking up we see things that look black flying towards us. I can’t describe them at all, they’re just “black”. They are coming from every direction and there are a lot of them. It’s obvious to us that this is what has had this small lamb prisoner and they were really mad and determined to take him back.
This is that moment that the old man told us about that he could not fully prepare us for! These are the feelings he tried to describe to us we may feel that we had to reach way inside and overcome, this is the sight that has melted the hearts with fear of many a strong warrior!
Through my mind raced the memories of all the old man has said and instilled in me. These memories became the very strength I need now to fight the battle before me. I am confident that the exact same thing is rushing through the minds of my two friends.
I knew I couldn’t fight holding the little lamb and while it concerned me greatly to have to set him down, I knew I must to be able to wield my sword as I must. I spoke to the little lamb, who is now trembling in fear and understandably so, and told him that he too had to reach way inside and find enough strength to just walk. We would do everything else and would defend him with our lives but he had to walk toward that hill in the distance.
As we had been trained over and over, we instinctively formed a triangle around the little lamb on the ground. One friend was at the lead, one at the rear right and me at the rear left. With all we had we swung our swords, keeping all those black things, whatever they were, from reaching this lamb they so desperately wanted to take back. It was tougher than any training we all recalled and thoughts constantly entered our minds that we had to overcome with memories of what we’d been taught. It was as if the old man was there with us, talking us through this. We couldn’t see him right now but it felt as if I could hear him encouraging me and transferring his strength and confidence into me that we could do this. We swung our swords in every direction as hard as we could for a long time and eventually, the black things gave up and simply disappeared.
I don’t recall the remainder of the trip home, I just remember making that last step up the hill with the lamb back in my arms and handing him into the arms of the old man. Once again, I was the recipient of the old man’s smile as he simply said to us all “well done!”.
I recall the lamb growing strong as we all continued to love and care for him.
The dream makes a huge transition now!
On the same hill, I am now the old man and before me are three young warriors, one of which is the rescued young lamb, now so strong, so smart and doing so well in training.
I realize that I was once that young lamb in much need of rescue and the old man was the warrior that rescued me! That is how he knew so well what we would be up against and how to adequately train us for the task ahead.
I miss the old man that trained my two friends and I and don’t know where he went to from here. But I feel him inside me every day as I recall every word he said to us, every thing he showed to us, and now I am required with all that is the remainder of my life to transfer all of that knowledge and skill to yet another generation of “Three Young Warriors”.
The dream is now complete and I awake, but changed forever and always looking for the old man.
My days change from time to time from that day many years ago when I first had the dream to this, with some days relating and feeling that I am still the little lamb, weary and wore out from various defeats from incorrect decisions and their consequences and wishing so much that I could become the man I so want to be, but cannot seem to muster the strength nor the knowledge how.
Some days I am fortunate to be presented with an opportunity to help someone in one way or another (sometimes materially, sometimes by just much needed friendship and sometimes spiritually) and realize that this is what brings my life the most meaning and purpose.
For many years now, I still look every day hoping I will somehow meet in this life this very special old man who is willing to take me in, teaching me much needed knowledge and skills and helping me align my daily life with my purpose, instilling in me the resolve and focus I need to become the man I so want to be for that young lamb/warrior that is so hoping to find me!