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Page 5 The Marvelous Arcade

Music of Stars of the lid and their refinement of the decline-- 25:49 minutes into it

The Marvelous Arcade

In my dream I was with a woman I know. We were outdoors on a sunny mild day. We came to an elaborate and very old arcade. Parts of it were not working and a little bit of it had been damaged by a flood of a small stream. Everything in the arcade was in miniature. Some of the things had been put back in working order and plans were in store to put other parts back in working order. Most of the things in the arcade worked, although many themselves had been out of order at one time or another before being repaired. Here and there many things were still out of order. It seemed as if the place had seen better days and was going downhill, but it was hard to tell.

  So much of it ran perfectly and so much had been improved here and there despite setbacks. All this was due to all the constant work and care and attention of all the many people who worked there with great care to keep the vast lovely old arcade in working order with its many old antique charming amusements of the most intricate nature. It seemed as if the workers were more numerous than the visitors. It was hard to tell. Maybe the place was getting better, but maybe not. It could have been a lost cause in its last glory, or a thing caught in time on its way to a sustained improvement.  Again, it was hard to tell.

  The details in this place were among the most extraordinary I have ever experienced in a dream.  I cannot describe them all but I will describe a few.

  There was a room-sized snowy mountain with small animals and other characters in nooks and crannies which popped out here and there while small vehicles and skiiers went moving along their way. There were trees and rocks and buildings and snow and lively charm with beauty everywhere. People could walk all around it and see many different things. The sheer animation of it all with its care and attention to detail was a bit heart rending and sent your mind back in time to many earlier scenes of your life and earlier still in our history. It instilled a great sense of all that was and still is lovely in America. It seemed to have been drawn from all over America and was as if our grandparents had seen these things. Yet it was just the tip of the iceberg in the marvelous arcade.

  Another room had elaborate tracks in the floor for all kinds of moving mechanical things and characters to travel around in a kind of ballet-like way. It was lovely yet there was so much more to look at, that we gazed at huge glass cases with more animated charming mechanical scenes moving and performing countless charming little acts. It was not just the charm of the things themselves but the great care people had gone to making so much of it filled with love, charm and beauty. There was something greater still- which was that much of it was made by earlier generations before, and their love and attention and care and beautiful thoughts were evident in all the craftsmanship.

 There were mirrors which had two way glass so that see yourself in different amusing guises determined by the comical characters behind the mirrors which you could change, and there was a beautiful lively painted victorian canal lock outdoors which had been recently put out of order by the small flood. But it too was scheduled for restoration complete with charming boats. Room after room was a super delight for the eyes and senses.

  Yet everywhere you looked there were items here and there out of order. A broken ballerina here, a dancing bear off its track there, a few items here, whole sections there. While it seemed as though we had to be eventually going, the delight and attraction of the vast and beautiful arcade was so great that we stayed and had to look at every little thing. This delightful little dancer, that charming and beautiful vignette and its music. This one and that one. The day seemed to go on forever. I thought about staying and my heart was with all those caring people who were so passionate and dedicated to keeping it working and especially improving it. I could see so many beautiful possibilities and hope for it all. It all seemed too important to walk away from. The allure of everything caused me to focus more on it than I expected.

  I was looking and marveling at the lovely animitronic animals with such realistic eyes and ears so beautifully done right down to the fine fur graduations, and knowing that maybe I should be doing something else, yet I couldn't help it.  It was all so appealing. I could see every little carefully made part and surface and marvelled at it.

  I awoke with the sense of the place full in my mind and amazed that my dream had been so extraordinarily realistic and detailed- It all seemed so real. More than I could remember along with very few prophetic dreams I had been given before.

  How could my mind have conceived of such a thing?  So intricate and real and strange?   But if it was from the Lord, what was it about?! I knew the dream meant something but what? I was so filled with amazement and wonder of the place that I only sat and thought about it for some time. My feelings dominated my logic and it was some time before I began to run my mind back and forth over it all.

 There was a slow realization that all the various details of the charming amusements of the place all had the same effect and all were representative of many many things, yet which in turn were all actually one very big thing: They were the manifold generations-long creations by men and women in our large nation that were carefully made and kept up and repaired with lifelong struggles against disorder, breakdown,and disasters which constantly threaten them. They are the vast and complicated amusements and buildings and homes and stores and transportation and exciting wonderful things we sacrificed for and worked to create and keep up and improve. We and generations before us. They employ nearly all of us yet they amuse and comfort and create a better world for all of us- both while we are working and relaxing alike.

 But I had a strange and mysterious sense that it may not last. I could tell that it was not as frivolous as it seemed. That it was important to humanity seemed its real importance. The delight of the place seemed constantly to have a deep personal backdrop of the work and care  and even the love of those who created it. That was as much the allure that drew me to stay, and stay some more- being tempted to stay permanently with those who did the work and help them in it.

  Yet there was something lifeless about the creation itself. Much of it imitated life but was not life itself. The lives of the people were important of course, but they all seemed to focus on what was also drawing me in as well: The somewhat empty pursuit of all that was imitation and ephemeral. I say 'somewhat empty' because it is not worthless. Not by any means. The world and its comforts and improvements and charms create much happiness and build discipline, comraderie, teamwork, insight, creativity, education, and technology. These are  important and much more. It is the Lord who bestowed these blessings on our nation. Our lives and our nation's strength and purpose derive much from this. Too much. We also spend inordinate amounts of time on its empty pleasure pursuits. Deuteronomy 8:10 says:

When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. Be careful you do forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his decrees that I am giving you this day. Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your flocks and herds grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery."   

Going next to verse 17 it says:

"You may say to yourself  'My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.'  But remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms His covenant, which he swore to your ancestors as it is today."
Verse 20 concludes:
"Like the nations the Lord destroyed before you, so you will be destroyed for not obeying the Lord your God".

This is the second time I have cited these verses as a situation our country will come under judgement for. (see the Dream of the Two Wooden Objects)

These many things are all great gifts, but there was always with me a sense that I was spending too much time on this.- just like everybody else. The allure contrasted with my sense that something else lay beyond there-- the place that I was going to in the first place. Its draw was there but I could not see it. It was not right in front of my eyes like the rest of the alluring arcade. I had no clear idea in the dream where exactly I had intended to go before I arrived there, but I knew I was spending too much time on these things- both myself and my friend.  There is a real place beyond the arcade of life. In fact, two places. All will spend an eternity in either the one or the other. The gifts in the one far outweigh those in the arcade and will never breakdown or be destroyed by disaster . There is nothing good in the other place, nor even so much as a single amusement. The most broken parts of the arcade are heaven compared to that place.

 Are you filled with the allure of this world? What are you doing in the arcade? Is it everything to you?  Does it take up all your time? Who really destroyed the things here and there in this world by floods and fires and storms?  Amos 3:6 says

"When disaster comes to a city, has not the Lord caused it?"

Will the arcade as it is, last?  In Zephania 3 is found the answer:

Therefore wait for me, declares the Lord
for the day I stand up to testify
I have decided to assemble the nations
to gather the kingdoms
and to pour out my wrath on them
all my fierce anger.
The whole world will be consumed
by the fire of my jealous anger.

Do you look at all the broken down things that don't last which are discarded and wonder what good really lasts? I tell you that this arcade will not last. Eternity will. Where will you spend it?  Ear has not heard nor eye seen what the Lord has in store for us if we turn from our sins and turn to Him who made us and the arcade of the whole world and all the blessings that occupy us. If we occupy ourselves with the author of our lives, the real maker of our world and be about His business, our real lasting happiness is found.

This dream occurred the night of Sept 17, 2014
Paul Briggs  

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