I had a dream early this morning. It was one of those incredibly vivid ones that you have after you wake up and then fall back to sleep. As soon as I woke from it, I took to my computer to share it with you, while the images and message were still sparklingly clear. The dream was this:
I was in my car, driving home from an event, my sister in her car behind me. We were in a rural area, with a beautiful landscape of trees and a babbling brook, and I was enjoying the drive. I was aware that I had driven this road many, many times and I knew my way well. As I was enjoying the scenery, I began to notice that it was becoming unfamiliar. The road had taken an odd turn and I no longer recognized the area. I started to think to myself, how silly I was that I had gotten off the familiar road and apparently was lost. I looked around and did not recognize anything. I started to feel very uncomfortable and decided to stop somewhere and ask directions, which was odd that I even needed to do this. I always know my way. It was daylight.
The place I ended up stopping at was a house that looked inviting. I somehow felt safe going to the door, knocking, and asking the people within if they could guide me back to my familiar road. They invited me in. I saw that it was a large family…a husband and wife, a teenage daughter and 4 smaller children ranging in ages from about 3 or 4 to 10 years old. Boys and girls. The energy in the house was very calm, even with that many people and boisterous children. It was a lived in house too, with the typical mess of strewn toys, stacked dishes, and flung clothes…but it wasn’t off putting…it was…comfortable.
I began asking the husband if he could tell me how to get back to “my road” and he started talking to me, but not about directions. I didn’t listen very closely and began asking the wife. She was telling me just to relax, we would figure it all out. The husband then took all of us outside…for a nature walk! I am thinking, oh good, he is going to show me the road and my way out of here. Not so. We went for a long walk, admiring the countryside and picking leaves. The children were skipping and babbling about their little lives…and I was becoming more and more impatient. I kept asking, but what about my road?
When we arrived back at the house, I realized I had my cell phone with me and said to myself, again silly me, why didn’t I just call home for directions. But when I went to find my contact list or home numbers, they were not in the phone. I also realized that, even though I was many hours late to have arrived home….no one had called my cell looking for me or wondering why I was so late.
I began to get frantic now. The children were still playing around me, the husband and wife were in their room getting ready for “date night”, and it was now getting dark out. I was in a real panic by this time thinking, if I couldn’t find my way in the light of day, how was I going to find my way in the dark. I began to really freak out, running through the house looking for the couple and asking, loudly, why can’t you just give me directions! In typical teenage fashion, the girl told me to chill out, her parents would tell me when they were ready. I was still trying to get my phone working and was wondering why my car was no longer in front of the house either. All my navigation and information devices had either disappeared or were not working like they always did or were supposed to.
In full frenzied panic now, I began to cry and lament at how nonchalant these people were about my predicament. I couldn’t understand why this family was not more concerned about me finding my way home. The mother finally came out of the bedroom from getting ready, looking marvelous. The children and their dog were clamoring around me asking me to play with them. I was so confused!
When the husband came out, in his maddeningly calm way, he told me why didn’t I just stay there that night, relax and play with the kids and we would find a map in the morning. I got really mad and went into the bathroom. (BTW – they had this awesome toilet paper with beautiful scenes of lush trees and little blue streams on it. Must find some!)
So, I was in the bathroom, sitting on the commode with the dog there with me, looking up at me with soulful eyes as tears splashed down my cheeks, frustrated and confused…and I realized something…like a flash of light bursting forth…
Sometimes, we lose our way. We think we are on the right road, but circumstances happen that change the scenery and we lose direction…even when we think we know the road so well. Especially when it becomes so familiar. At these times, our usual navigation devices…the things we know to do to get back on that road and we have always relied on before…stop working or do not work the same as they had been. We ask or pray for directions, but they do not come. We go into panic mode, frustrated at why something so important to us is not being attended to or answered in the time frame we expect or demand it to. We get frustrated and angry, upset that we can’t seem to figure it all out and we feel silly for having lost our way on a familiar road in the first place.
So…when this happens…the best thing to do is…stay put, right where you are…and wait for the morning light. And, look around at what is right there in front of you, it is there for a reason.
This family kept telling me to relax, look around and notice them and their surroundings and enjoy my time with them. I was so busy looking for a way out that…until I went to the bathroom and saw the awesome toilet paper, I did not notice all the beauty, joy, love and laughter around me. I was constantly looking out the window and trying to find my road.
If you are lost…stay put until things become clear. It IS ok to pause. Look around you at the things you DO have that are good and full, enjoy your surroundings, stop looking for the road and lamenting the things that are not working…and wait for the morning light that will show you the way. Sometimes…we have to wait for the right thing to come to us, but in waiting, we should not forget that there is so much right there, right in front of us, in which to find delight, peace and comfort. And it is when we lay down our panic, anger and frustration, which is clogging our vision, that we find the things we are meant to be tending to…and our way, our road, comes into the light and becomes clear.