Friday, November 20, 2015

Not working...

The dream is always the same.

I'm faced with some opponent who is intent on beating me to a pulp, but when I engage them in hand-to-hand combat, it's like I'm trying to swing my arms through molasses. I'm putting everything I can into the punch, but by the time I make contact with their face, my hand is barely moving at all. There's no molasses, just a complete inability to actually throw a punch.

This goes on for awhile until I give up and run. But then it's like I'm running in a vat of pudding. I can barely move my legs. There's no pudding, it just feels like there is. 

At this point, the guy starts brandishing a chainsaw or an axe, and I can barely move. Fortunately, just as he's about to take me out, I wake up. I'm always shaken and agitated, but worse than that, I'm furious. How could my body fail me so profoundly? Why can't I even defend myself?

I've heard that this dream is pretty common and that it means something. I don't actually remember what the psychologists think it means, but here's my guess. I think there must be some task on my plate for which I feel wholly inadequate. I must have taken something on, but I know in my heart of hearts that I don't really know what I'm doing. Then my min
d tortures me with images of me failing to even protect myself from an attacker. It's terrible.

But regardless of the root of my dream, I wake feeling utterly useless and totally betrayed by my own body. If I am fit and whole, my body should work. If I mean to run, my legs should allow me to run. But if my body doesn't even do what it's designed for, where does that leave me? If something is supposed to do something, it should do something, right? 

Our faith is actually like this. If my faith is useful and real, it should lead to something. It should work. It should change the way I do things. This idea is a major theme in James' letter, and it's what I'm preaching on at The Anchor this week. Come learn how this works this Sunday, 10am, at The Anchor!

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