My vivid imagination, in conjunction with a Type Triple A, drive-it-to-the-ground personality, means that I conjure up all sorts of dire and dreadful scenarios for any given set of actual facts. The less probable the outcome, the more likely I am to come up with it, and I am fully capable of fancying an array of potential scenarios ranging from the mundane to everything that you find in a Bruce Willis movie.
(As an aside, have you noticed that Bruce always starts out crisp and clean — well, as crisp and clean as Bruce can manage — and by the end of three hours looks like something the cat upchucked on the back porch?)
Through the years, the progeny has been the primary recipient of largesse from their parent’s dubious gift of mental B-grade screenplays, and they are all familiar with the admonition, upon their going somewhere, anywhere, of “Don’t get stolen!”
Now that they’re older, my parental thoughts run less on their accepting candy from strangers than on their forgetting to turn off the car lights, stranding them with a dead battery in a strange city, at night, in one of those covered high-rise parking lots where bad things ALWAYS happen.
And with the three minutes left on the battery of their phone, they call me:
“Mom, I’m someplace in inner city Chicago. And the car won’t start.”
It’s not as if, like any parent, I don’t have original material to work with. It’s just that, when it actually happens, it’s never like I fear it will be (sometimes it’s worse). Whatever it is and whenever it happens, however, it’s real life, in real time, and we all get through it.
Last night, I had a dream – not a Martin Luther King dream – in which I spent hours on the computer, viewing one website after another, hitting links, reading content that didn’t actually exist because it was circumscribed to what I created in the subterranean miasma of my fog-befuddled subconscious.
At some point, I awakened enough to realize this, my intellect delivering a stunning piece of coherent thought:
“Don’t waste time,” it told me, “following non-live links.”
While this idea has been expressed far more eloquently by others – the apostle Paul comes to mind with his “Whatever it true, whatever is noble, whatever is right,” recommendation in Philippians 4:8 – it never hit so hard as when I awoke from three hours of work with absolutely nothing accomplished, because everything I had read or seen was confined to what I had generated in my mind.
It wasn’t real. It never would be. And I didn’t have the power to make it so, or not so.
“Why then,” I asked my fully wakened mind, “do you waste so much time – sometimes under the guise of prayer – thinking, fearing, and worrying about, what could happen?
“Why do you follow links that exist only because you think they do?”
Bad habits don’t disappear overnight, and they don’t just “disappear,” actually, without significant work, discipline, and effort on our part. So one little dream won’t lasso my tumultuous thoughts into submission.
But that dream, however, is a step forward, one of many through the years as I absorb what the word “Trust” means, and Who it is that I want so desperately to give that trust to.
Someone with Live Links.