the dream

Morning of May 10th…

Last night I dreamed
Of most vivid proportion
The cities shaken
In dramatic destruction
Cables whipping
No more shocked than I
Ashes raining
Like snow in July
Cars tumbling
Down mountains of street
Dogs buried in holes
Several feet deep
My heart, a drum
That beats and pounds
As I frantically dig
To rescue a hound
The streets littered
With folks who died
Like she that lie
With the beam in her side
Mounds of gray
Stacked 20 yards high
Cries of lamentation
Pollute the black skies
Children lost
In panic and screams
I wake in my bed
From a trembling dream

So, why is this dream relevant?

Well, it’s relevant because no I find myself perpetually contemplating the events around me and how to prepare for the worst. Not from a place of fear, but rather a place of acknowledgement that the last dream I had like this, COVID came two months later and brought a year of anxiety, isolation, and confusion for many throughout the world.

The past year has taught me a lot:

I truly have very little control over external circumstances.

This used to leave me feeling helpless, but now brings me such comfort to know that God works everything according to His purpose. I may not always understand that purpose, but it’s okay because I know it’ll all work out for good. Experience has already proven this time and time again.

Of course there are practical things that I can do now though: storing extra water and food (or growing my own!), keeping my gas tank full, and taking intentional breaks from the luxurious conveniences of society. Not being led by paranoia, but rather a sincere desire to mentally prepare for sudden, unexpected circumstances. The entire globe did shut down within two months after all. That was pretty unexpected!

There are always reasons to be thankful.

Had the world not come to a complete halt I would probably still be “too busy” to even start this website. Sure, it’s a bummer that studying in Paris never happened, but not really, because now I’m actually pursuing something I’m passionate about. I’ve learned so much about myself in the process.

Ultimately, I’m alive and healthy. I have a place to live and I have food. There are so many people I’ve met on the streets who have lost everything since the pandemic started. I can empathize with their situations, and I also acknowledge that I could be in a similar situation. We’re not all that different. Some of them have so much hope and a positive outlook on their circumstances. Guess I actually don’t have anything to complain about.

Rejection is okay, and often necessary.

I was such a social butterfly– or dragonfly (the manly version)— before the state-sanctioned isolations. It didn’t take me long to realize that most of my socializing was just to receive validation from others and conceal my own insecurities that I didn’t even know I had. Fear of rejection was a big one. I may have been “too busy” on the surface to start Peace & Poetry, but really I was just afraid that every single person in the world would find my content repulsive. Very reasonable and well-informed thinking, right?

No matter who I am, who I become, or what I do, someone is gonna have a problem with it. Perhaps the improvements I implement in my life makes them feel bad because they aren’t willing to do it. Or maybe they can’t understand why I’m so calm, so they seek to make me as miserable as they are? It’s possible…but it doesn’t really matter. If I don’t do what I’m passionate about just because I’m afraid of what others will think, well…I might as well just be dead at that point. Besides, rejection builds character!

It’s better to take responsibility for my own shortcomings.

Okay, I admit it… Maybe I’ve had a tendency of subconsciously blaming others for my problems:

I didn’t do well on that test because the professor didn’t teach me that.

Me.

That relationship didn’t work because she had problems, and I’m a perfect little angel.

Me again.

I was late because the trooper pulled me over, I wasn’t speeding that bad.

And also me…

Well, once quarantine started my social life went away but my problems didn’t go anywhere. That pretty much meant that I was the cause of my problems, at least my mindset was. Once I accepted this new revelation I was able to take a deeper look within at some of the root causes. Ultimately, if the way I think is the problem then changing that should change my circumstances (or my perception of them). Now I’m beginning to understand what repentance means.

On a recent hike, a woman shared something very profound with me:

If you want to start a new life you have to leave the old life behind.

hiking friend

It caught me by surprise but it made so much sense. Once again, repentance. The first step in starting that new life is to take responsibility for both my actions and their consequences. Only then can I embark on that faithful journey of overcoming.

There really is nothing to fear…well, except God.

I really don’t find myself being swayed by the fear tactics featured on the te-“lie”-vision. Psalm 91 has become my “insurance policy.” What is scary, however, is watching the masses seduced by deception and knowing that God (if He so chose) could hand me over to the same deception. The thought is horrifying.

God is patient (2 Peter 3:9), and He is love (1 John 4:8). He is also vengeful (Nahum 1:2), and is a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29). So if I do evil continually how could I ever expect to escape His wrath?

O that my soul would turn away from wickedness and seek God with a pure heart!

All of humanity is in the middle of an invisible war between good and evil and the battlefield is in the mind. All of humanity is under psychological attack on a subconscious level and most won’t recognize it until it’s too late.

Regardless of anything; regardless of what happens, I know that the Creator and Upholder of everything has promised to help me. Of course it’s challenging a lot of the time, but if it weren’t then I wouldn’t have to “endure” and “overcome.” It all makes me stronger the end: physically, mentally, and spiritually.

So onward!

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