Cross Points 6.26.22

River of Dreams

I can remember in 1993 listening on the radio to Billy Joel’s song River of Dreams as I went to eat lunch in a downtown café in Columbia, MO.  I thought the lyrics were intriguing.  You might want to get the song on YouTube and listen to it before reading on.  Here are a few of the words:

In the middle of the night, I go walking in my sleep,
from the mountains of faith, to the river so deep        
I  must be looking for something, something sacred I lost,
but the river is wide, and it’s too hard to cross  
Even though I know the river is wide
I walk down every evening and I stand on the shore                              
I try to cross to the opposite side so I can finally find out what I’ve been looking for

I don’t know the mind of Billy Joel, but it appears the song talks about a person who is questioning their faith (faith in God?).  They’ve come down from the mountains of this faith to the river so deep, which I again assume represents all the questions raised by science and evolutionists, by liberal schoolteachers and by all the Hollywood types.  He’s lost something sacred (his faith?) but realizes all the questions he has are not easily answered – the river is wide, too hard to cross.
Many people in our culture could in 1993 (and can now) relate to this path.  It’s the path our culture tries to take everyone down, away from Godly faith and to the river of dreams.  But just as the song says, they walk down every evening and stand on the shore, looking to the opposite side to find what they’ve been looking for.  Why can’t they find it on that opposite shore?
The song continues…

I go walking in my sleep, through the valley of fear,
to a river so deep, I’ve been searching for something,
taken out of my soul, something I’d never lose, something somebody stole.  

He’s still searching for something, taken out of his soul.  Something he’d never lose, something some-body stole.  Did the science taught with a no-God worldview steal it, did the teaching in school that we all come from an evolutionary process that starts in the primeval sludge of the sea steal it?  More lyrics…

In the middle of the night, I go walking in my sleep,
through the desert of truth, to the river so deep      
We all end in the ocean, we all start in the streams,
we’re all carried along, by the river of dreams.
The desert of truth becomes hard to wade through once we abandon the Bible and the historical message from God that the Bible provides us.  If our personal worldview ends in the ocean, starts in the stream, we are left to be carried along only by our dreams.  More lyrics from the song…

I’m not sure about a life after this,
God knows I’ve never been a spiritual man,
baptized by the fire            
I wade into the river that runs to the Promised Land.

Interesting words, don’t you think, by Mr. Billy Joel?  He dances all around the heart of the issue but keeps searching for an answer across the river of dreams, not from the God of the Bible.  The answer is there, delivered on the mountain.  First on the mountain of Sinai by Moses to Israel which eventually led to another mountain where the Son of God, Jesus, died for our sins, then rose from the dead, to provide a pathway to the Promised Land of Heaven for those who in faith follow him.  Instead of looking across the river of dreams, go back to the mountain of faith and seek the Lord.  A message for all of us.
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