Woke up this morning from a dream that makes no sense until you start explaining it in words:
I dreamt that they were making a documentary about my company and the group of people who do my job. By the time that part of the dream was finished, we were out in rural Henegar, AL on top of Sand Mountain at the four-way stop. They had traffic diverted while they filmed different scenes, by this time no cameras were pointed at me and they had only men doing my job. It wasn’t clear if they were actors, but they looked awfully tidy and handsome. (My company is a big international deal and they won’t have women on their free to the customers calendar anymore - women are offensive, apparently.)
I had been busy doing the actual job while the movie crew were busy staging the men doing it on film. They finished and it was time to go back to the office, and some younger woman who had been there to play a part offered to drive. Sounds nice, doesn’t it? Until, instead of heading straight up the highway, she goes off the other direction saying all the roadblocks from the film have traffic backed up, it would take too long. I compromise and say, “Okay, but I know the back way to go and get back on the highway, we’ll turn and get back to the highway there. Right?”
Right. Not so much.
We get up to the turn and there’s this Big Country Church where we
are supposed to turn having a big crowd doing something, and she insists
on going in to speak to someone she knows about whatever. I follow her
in and it’s just one office after another, all full of different groups
of church people doing all their church activities: Mother’s day out,
choir practices and church plays rehearsing, different Sunday School
classes having socials and gathering for Bible studies, men’s meetings
getting groups together to go build houses for widows, child care
sections, just everything you could ever think of for an off-Sunday
activity. The offices and meeting rooms and auditoriums were an endless
maze, truly. That woman I was following kept getting ahead of me and I
kept following hallway after hallway, door after door, and Surely I’ve
got to catch up to her at some point!
So then, what does it all mean?
Two big time issues of my adult life are addressed here. Work and church.
Work - I do the job, I’m still doing the job, but I get no credit for it and the credit they do give comes out of corporate back to the corporate marketing message. The reality is messy and difficult, but the only people who garner the respect are good looking men who are pretending for the camera.
^This reality goes straight into Church and my walk thru the church.
Lots and lots of stuff going on in the church, lots of groups having their fun and virtue points addressed, but none of it is getting me to where I need to go. None of it is intended to get me where I need to go, its function is to keep me busy searching thru the church for that younger woman who took the wheel of my car trying to be nice and a know it all. She didn’t know the best way there, she was easily diverted and entangled in church niceness, and I’m being nice trying to catch her and get her back on the road home with me again.
Is there some law that says I have to bring her with me? It’s my car, why can’t I just drive off and let her go? She’s old enough to be responsible for herself and she’s in no danger.
(At this moment, I’m thinking of the “inner child” that therapy is trying to raise. Perhaps for an older person like me there is also the younger 18-40 year old self that has to be dealt with and let go. We are many selves and have many lives - our child self, our young adult life, and the middle age self that lives between who we are when we first craft our adult life and who we will be when our strength is fixed and we are just riding it out to the end.)
In any case, I’m meditating on all this on a Sunday morning as I want to hook up with a church again, and the one I found a couple weeks ago is very nice, but the pastor also threatened that the church has to have a “revival” or shut down. I don’t know what that means for that church or that pastor, but I’m not doing “revival or else” again. I’ve been down that path, I’ve been churned by emotional efforts from the pulpit all I can stand, and I have no interest in being fleeced. I don’t know if that church or just that pastor is having financial issues, I’m unconvinced that I owe a church organization 10% of my cash income (even though I do not regret the training and freedom of faith that comes from doing that,) or it’s possible that the pastor knows the membership has become calcified in their seats and needs stirring up.
My point is my season of letting someone else, even a pastor or saint of God, tell me which way to go is over. I may be slow, but I need to get where I’m going and I don’t owe any church organization the diversionary time of doing their activities, none of which are my activities.
My conclusion is that I’m not going to get into a mental or spiritual turmoil over it wondering what my inner motives are or how I’m not doing the right works in the church. Galations 5 says I was set free by Christ so that I can be free to follow God and His will by the Holy Spirit who dwells within me because of Jesus Christ’s atoning work on the cross. Paul is very specific and repetitive in that chapter that I should not get entangled again by religious law - do this, don’t touch that - but that I’ll find where I’m supposed to be and I’ll have the power to do what I’m supposed to do if I follow as the Holy Ghost leads.
Not my church friends’ advice.
Not my know-a-lot, rational, calculating “this is how getting from here to there is done, it says so in all the advice columns” mind.
Not what I’ve done before.
I want to go home and no one but Christ in me can get me there. The “home” I’m so incredibly hungry for is someplace I can see in my dreams and I feel it every Monday when I go back to work - because it’s not my job! I go to work and I actually, tangibly feel like I’m in someone else’s dream playing a part for them to look at. Where I should be is completely different and I’ll never get there unless the Holy Spirit blows into my sails and moves me over into that lane. I can’t row my little dory fast enough to ever get there, it will have to be a story of turns and doors and moments that moves me and everything else thru space and time to get me there.
I also know this home is for this life, it’s not heaven nor the world to come. They are glorious and real, but there is a reality and a glory that is only for this life, and it testifies of God in a way that can’t happen in any other season or time. I look forward to the day the saints go marching in, and I’ve seen myself in that cohort on That Day, but there’s also someplace here I should be and I’m not yet. Time is short, I need to be about the business of getting there. I’ve got to mind after my own house first.
(I don't mean house shopping, actually, but I had another dream a few months ago when I had that "this is my home" feeling - and I was in an old white Victorian farmhouse, with columns and a vintage kitchen. This photo is just for the feels.)