Growing up in the 80s and the 90s, I had the privilege of living through the era of the Game Boy. This hand-held, monochromatic, functional paperweight gave millions of people around the world an early taste of what gaming would become; an experience that can be taken on the road. I can still hear that little “ping” sound that chimed every time a Game Boy was started up. It truly was an era of digital innocence.
Despite the simplicity of the console, it did provide some of the greatest video games ever made for any system. This includes the original Pokémon Red and Blue titles, as well as the first appearance of Kirby, the world’s most beloved glob of cotton candy. Of course, I can’t forget the first installment of Tetris. All of these games were incredible and provided great entertainment for players of all ages, but there was one game that rose high above the rest in my book. I spent countless hours on it, delving deeply into its rich story and complicated puzzles. It was my game of choice over 20 years ago and now it is getting a much-needed remake on the Switch. Yes, my friends, the game was none other than the incredible Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening.
There was something about this game that captured my imagination as no other title could. The story starts off simple enough; our hero, Link, is sailing all alone on the high seas when his craft is destroyed and he wakes up on the shores of a small island called Koholint. Link soon finds out from the natives that he is trapped on this island because the god-like deity that controls the island, the Wind Fish, is asleep and must be awakened in order for anyone to leave. That sends Link on a journey to collect instruments around that island that will awaken the Wind Fish and free the denizens of the island from their captivity. The story is somewhat straight forward, but the twist at the end is so earthshaking that people are still talking about it.
I don’t like to spoil video game endings, but since this title is over 20 years old, I think the embargo on spoilers for this game has been lifted. The Wind Fish is a very powerful creature that was put to sleep by a dark Nightmare that held sway over his dreams. He was kept captive in a giant egg; that was until Link went into the egg and freed him from the Nightmare that was keeping him asleep. When the Wind Fish wakes up, everything on the island, including the people, starts to disappear. Due to the power of the Wind Fish, the island that he was imprisoned on was actually his dream made manifest; Koholint Island and its people were all a product of the Wind Fish’s slumber. Link is only able to escape from the island when it vanishes from underneath him, thus leaving him to float on the same debris that brought him to the island in the first place.
Man, what a downer. Even though Link gets off the island, all of its inhabitance simply ceases to be. If this story shows players anything, it is that the power of dreams cannot be underestimated. I believe that is not only true, but it is also an endearing lesson that so many people would do well to learn. Dreams, whether they are had asleep or awake, can make incredible things happen.
I have an indie developer friend that I know from my work as a gaming journalist who has created a mobile game called FlickBack. The idea of this game is simple; just flick back colored arrows that appear on your screen as fast as you can. The game is easy and fun, and it came to him in a dream. He fell asleep behind his computer while creating a game and had a vivid dream of arrows passing by his sight. In his dream, he swiped at them and they went away. After waking from the dream, my friend knew exactly what to do and got started making FlickBack right away.
Dreams are wonderful insights that God has given us in order to see possibilities that have not happened yet. When awake, a person may dream of a time where they are able to do what they have always wanted to, while they might actually “experience” that when they are asleep. Dreams are not things that should be dismissed or pushed aside, but rather I think they should be looked at closely and examined from where they are coming from and why they are happening.
Dreams were incredibly important to the people of the Bible. It was through dreams that many of the Old Testament prophets received the visions that they would use to deliver the Word of God to the people. Several great “dreamers” are mentioned in the Bible, including Joseph and Daniel, whose dreams were important to the Biblical narrative and prophecy. Even Peter received a dream that convinced him to include the Gentiles into the brotherhood of the Church. This shows us that God does indeed love using dreams to speak to his people.
If you are still not convinced, then listen to this passage of the Scripture:
the last days, God says,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams.
As many of you know, time is moving forward and we are getting closer and closer to what is known as the “last days.” Though we may not know exactly when those days will occur, we do know that God has given His Holy Spirit to his servants. If you are one who is sealed in Jesus Christ through faith, then you do indeed have the Holy Spirit living within you, and you can reap the benefits of that relationship. Dreams are a part of that, and God will use them in different ways to bring about His will. Perhaps you have had a dream about going off and working in foreign lands, feeding orphans, and building shelters. If you are drawn to that work through what the Holy Spirit is revealing to you, then there is a chance that the dreams that you are having are simple confirmations of this. Even if you daydream of one day doing something like that, God may be putting that desire into your heart so that you can go off and fulfill it. God really does work in mysterious ways.
Our dreams may not be as strong as the Wind Fish’s, but know that the dreams that God places into our minds could hold the power to eventually doing things that we can not possibly imagine in our current situations. Take heart and dream big; listen to God and He will lead you down the path that you need to take.