Friday, February 19, 2010

Growing Up -- At Least in my Dreams

This may be a strange post--it's about dreams. Some of you may have heard of the "Actor's Dream", where you're on-stage in front of an audience and have no idea what your lines are or what you're doing. I've had plenty of those over the years. In the year before I got married, I also had several "Wedding Dreams", where my processional music is playing, everyone's in the sanctuary looking for me to start walking down the aisle, and I'm running around frantically looking for my bouquet . . or my shoes . . or the sanctuary door.

I had a similar dream last night. Too long and complicated to explain in detail, but I showed up at the church with a script in hand that I was supposed to perform with a guy in the service that night -- only I didn't have a guy. I grabbed someone I knew as "Kevin" and asked him if he thought he could memorize this real quick and do it with me and he said he could. Fast forward through 15 minutes or so of dreamworld weirdness . . . and it's time for the service to start, and Kevin is nowhere to be seen.

So, I grab another guy and ask him if he will at least read the script with me, which he says he will do, only I realize that I gave Kevin my only copy of the script. So, I hunt all over the building looking for Kevin and my script, to no avail. At this point, it's 10 minutes past time to start the service and the worship band has been vamping all that time, waiting for me because not only is this skit one of the first things in the service, but apparently, I'm leading the music as well. So, I walk onto the platform in front of the congregation -- suddenly realizing that I have no idea what this service is about, who's speaking, what we're singing, what my drama had to do with anything -- and I grab a mike.

And I start to talk. I tell everyone in the audience, "Folks, you'll have to forgive me here -- in the past few minutes I have completely spaced out and I'm not sure what I'm doing!" Everyone chuckles a little. I look at the band and get no hints at where I should go from here. But the music they're playing sounds a bit like "I'll Fly Away", so I start singing. Soon, I realize I don't remember the words to that, and so I start asking the congregation for requests of what they'd like to sing . . .

And I woke up. But funny thing is, I didn't wake up in a breathless state of panic like with my past actor's dreams -- I just woke up calmly trying to remember the verses to "I'll Fly Away". Even in my dream, I never exactly reached a state of frenzied anxiety. Somehow, I had complete confidence that if I stood on that platform and just honestly and humorously explained to everyone what was going on, they would forgive me, I'd find some way to work things out, and we'd all laugh about it later.

Where'd I find that kind of composure? I know this wasn't reality, but I was still amazed at how self-assured I was. The situation called for running screaming into the night, and I just stood there spilling my guts to a room of strangers, not worried in the least at what they would think of me. Has my dreamworld self really matured that much in the last couple decades? And if so, has my real-world self matured in the same way?

I'm not sure I want to know. No, I do want to know -- I just don't want to experience the potentially disastrous situation I would have to go through to find out.

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