I Dreamed a Dream, Too

I certainly am no John Bunyan (The Pilgrim’s Progress), but I also have a dream and a story to tell:

For as I lay down in that place to sleep, I slept and dreamed a dream…

And I stood before the Great White Throne. The Ancient of Days’ gaze was upon me. I turned and behind me lay my entire life—save for my sin. For as the Scriptures foretold, my sin, though ever before me on earth, was no more. They, no doubt, had been thrown into the Sea of Forgetfulness and were as far away as the East is from the West. What remained, though, exhibited for all to see was a great landscape of activity. How I spent my gifts, my time, my resources, my energies, my passion—all of it was set before me; a diorama of sorts, a landscape of acts and scenes of my life.

“Behold,” the Almighty One uttered from His Throne. And from that one word a great and enormous ball of fire began at one end of my life and blazed to its end, like fire consuming a line of gunpowder. In a moment it was done. I winced through the heat and smoke and ash and saw to my grief, much was now gone—consumed, charred, blackened, smoldering piles were everywhere. What once was a promising, wonderfully colored array of fervor and activity now looked like a war zone from an old black and white movie. The landscape of my life was now quite small; much of it ashen and gray.

And a theme emerged as I stared at the remains. Much of what I thought important, much that kept me up at night, much that had been noticed and even honored…was gone. And I cried. For many days had been granted me since my justification—since I had been saved by His grace; yet I had so little to show. Decades of life and breath had been given after He changed my heart and I believed. Alas, looking at what was left after God’s Great Fire, surely, only the thief on the cross had less to show. Apparently, much of my life was just about me. I had a saved soul; but I had a wasted life.

All was not consumed, however. Some scenes still stood. There were little things I had done in obedience. And there were some servant-minded acts few would have even known about. There were some mundane things I did joyfully. There were some bigger acts, as well; things I remembered I had done for His glory. As I looked more closely at them, I noticed they had also changed. Instead of being charred or consumed, they glistened and at their base was a tiny jewel.

“Your crown,” I heard the One on the Throne say, “the jewels are for your crown.”  He continued, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in the little things; I will set your over much.”

But what was strange about all of this was that I honestly didn’t want more jewels for myself. I wasn’t sad for me that there weren’t many; I was sad for the One on the Throne. For I had the sense that even though the jewels were given to me; somehow they were about Him.

Then the dream ended. Then I woke up.

I went about that day differently. I had a new passion. The sacred and the common, whatever I purposed to do and whatever came my way; I would see to it differently. I did so in hopes of more jewels some day, not for me mind you—but for Him.

Pastor Rich Hamlin

May 31, 2012

(Note to reader: Please read 1 Corinthians 3:10-15 and I Corinthians 9:24-25)


  1. Thank you so much! I remembered learning about the jewels being for him, but this is such an encouragement for me right now. Thank you so much.