Thanks for stopping by, whether you got here by a link or hitting "next blog" -- I am glad you are here. I've also done some writing on homeschooling, and what I learned thinking I was teaching.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Nightmares as Answered Prayer?

The dream has different scenarios, but the same theme – final exams loom; I am unprepared. and unable to find the room where the tests are administered;. I see my future flash in front of me – doomed. Though I have good grades in some classes, in at least two, I have cut these other so often, and done no homework,  I can’t even fake a performance – and the classroom is not where I thought it would be.

The panic that I feel as the dream unfolds  wakes me up, calling to mind how poorly prepared I am in many areas of my life – I cut one too many of life’s classes, maybe?

When I cut classes in high school – or I skipped lectures in college, I had fun stuff to do; when I skipped out on life’s lessons, I just thought I knew better. When I was young – ignorant of what made my little world so secure – my dreams and answers made sense; I quickly detected others’ foibles and failures, and knowing I would not make those mistakes, I skipped their lessons.  I quit listening to my parents, whose struggles were choking off any conversations worth having; I stopped going to church, shortly after my parents stopped going, and life seemed more real outside the stained glass. I pulled away even from friends when their choices looked too confining for my ambitions – me, the ruler of all I survey. And of course as a benevolent, wise  ruler, I would right all social wrongs I discovered. 

So, I wanted out of my life as I knew it – I remember the slant of the late afternoon sun on the lawn the day I decided to go as far in the opposite direction as all my friends went, and my parents seemed to value. And no one objected – or argued – or tried to dissuade me when I walked out. Only one person, my aunt,  offered a parting shoot: “If this doesn’t work out, don’t be embarrassed to come home.” When I reached the end of my search for the personal peace and affluence I craved, her words were a dim light on the rocky return path, I ‘m still traveling. 

Some of the classes I cut had lessons that I am glad I am not learning. Mastering denial, which many of my family did  because of alcoholism, is not a worthwhile life skill.  Nor, is pigeonholing people a commendable accomplishment. And it’s also unproductive to study with people who know about God, but haven’t met Him yet.  I am grateful for the make-up classes that God, though. My attendance isn’t always perfect – nor is my mastery of subjects like humility, gratitude, perseverance and compassion complete.

When my recurring nightmare of being lost and unprepared for a major exam shakes me awake, some might say regret and guilt are knocking. God knows, I have enough of them! So, I wonder if my Teacher has more lessons; I wonder  if the nightmare  is an answer to a prayer I say I like to pray?  

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:23-24)

People tell me, “Be careful what you pray for.” But I have an upcoming final – not sure when, and don’t know where; all that I think I know, all that I have ever done will be tested. (1 Corinthians 3: 10-15) Since the Teacher is up all night, maybe we can review some? (Psalm 121)

Image source

No comments: