Sunday, November 14, 2010

"Some one is trying to kill me!"

What bothered me most was how real it was. The detail was exceptionally clear.  Some people even had names and I could remember little, seemingly insignificant, things about them - hairstyles, hearing aids, glasses, clothes... It was so vivid it felt real.  I was shaking as I lay in my bed, absolutely convinced that someone was trying to kill me.
The logical, rational part of my brain knew it was just a dream.  That part of me knew that there wasn't some person out there who was trying to kill be because I knew something.  That part of me knew that some one named Alyssa hadn't been mistaken for me and killed in place of me, that I wasn't running from the authorities, that I wasn't getting ready to be disappeared for my own safety.
But the illogical, emotional part of brain was terrified.  I was shaking. Someone was trying to kill me.  Someone had been killed in my place and I didn't know who I could trust or where I could go to be safe. I couldn't tell if the people offering me refuge were being genuine or if they just wanted to get me somewhere where they could get me dead.  For that part of my brain, this nightmare was real.
I couldn't shake the feelings that accompanied these thoughts, so in the safety of my room I gave them permission to exist for awhile. As they existed I thought about them...I allowed myself to entertain slightly irrational thoughts for awhile.  Was it possible that someone was trying to kill me?  Did I know something that was important enough that someone wanted me dead?  As I sat with these slightly irrational thoughts I began to realize they weren't so irrational at all...the answer was staring me in the face from the pages of my open catechism (I'd been working on a lesson plan based on Q&A 127 about "lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil").  1 Peter 5:8 --> Be self-controlled and alert.  Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
"a roaring lion looking for someone to devour"  that sounds like someone is trying to kill me for sure.  Thankfully I have devil-lion fighting skills and that stupid devil doesn't get to devour me.

The more I thought about it in this light, the more it made sense.  Someone was killed instead of me.  Except it wasn't a girl named Alyssa, but a man, who was fully G-d and fully human, named Jesus.  And I do know something that someone (ie: that jerk of a devil who is prowling around like a lion) wants me dead for: I know that Jesus didn't stay dead, but rose again for the salvation of the world. As far as not knowing who I could trust, that fit right in too.  The devil is the father of all lies and is super good at deception.  Sometimes he can appear trustworthy, but really he's just being tricky and trying to get me where he can make me dead.

Maybe I think too much about life or maybe G-d decided that He wanted to send me a reminder of how real this battle is that we live in every day (since I obviously wasn't getting that from my lesson plan work).
I like how Eugene Peterson puts it in The Message:

God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we'll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.
Be prepared. You're up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it's all over but the shouting you'll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You'll need them throughout your life. God's Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other's spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.
                                        -Ephesians 6:10-18

This is no little game, this is for real.  Thankfully G-d is on my side and through Him I have devil-lion fighting skills and the devil doesn't get to kill me, even though he is trying.  Take that Jerkface!

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