a few nights ago, i dreamed that a man was stalking me. i was terribly afraid of this anonymous man, and as i was in my bathroom preparing for bed, i saw his face in the frosted glass of the bathroom window. my fear took my breath away, and i could get no words to form in my mouth as i gasped for air. finally, i was able to say aloud, "go away!" the man disappeared, and i awoke struggling for breath with my heart racing. i'm sure that the genesis of this dream was a detective novel i'm reading, and i'm not interested in the psychological meaning of the dream.
what interests me is the relief i felt as i woke more fully from the dream to realize that what i experienced was not real. how often we live with needless anxieties that interfere with the enjoyment of life. our fears stalk us as the man did in my dream, and we have but to say "go away" to see those fears disappear, and the calm relief that replaces them reminds how lovely life is.
soon my wife and i will leave on a trip to europe. i have been frantically planning, worrying over railway timetables, investigating the best way to see the most with the least effort, debating what we will have time to do and what we must leave for another trip. in all that, my fears that i'm making wrong decisions, my anxieties about getting confirmations of all our reservations have caused me to lose sight of the joy that we can experience as we see new sights and meet new friends. these worries have overtaken the fun of planning the trip and remembering that even when plans go awry, those unplanned difficulties often present opportunities to have experiences we would otherwise miss.
i forgot for a few days that joy is in the present moment, not in some future that may never come to be. my prayer for myself and you is that we will be reminded that all is well, even when that doesn't appear to be so, and that all we have is this moment given for our enjoyment. shalom.