sunrise-over-lake-monona[1]Diane screamed, but there was no sound! She ran, but was going nowhere! The sun was beating down on her, her clothes were wet from perspiration, but she was freezing. All of a sudden she jumped, now she was wide awake. “Thank God… that was a horrible dream, a reoccurring dream that always seems so real.” Joy filled her soul as she realized, “it’s over,” and prayed that it would never return. She took several deep breaths and looked around to make sure it was only a dream. She asked herself, “What is this all about? I just praise God for protecting me, one more time. One more time from what?” She had absolute no clue, she wished she did. How many times had she prayed for wisdom, knowledge, discernment and revelation? To no avail.

She folded her arms around her body as if she were swaddling herself in a robe of desperation. She opened her eyes slowly, peering into the darkness that engulfed her. She was horrified and alone. She began to think, “Maybe I need some help. Who would I talk to? Who can I trust?” She thought about it for a few minutes and decided, “Surely, not my family and friends, they think I have it all together. What about talking to my pastor?” Then she dismissed that thought immediately and surmised, “I’m not sure how confidential any of it would be. I don’t want anyone to think I’m crazy.” She closed her eyes, feeling as if she were sinking into a giant hole, moving down slowly …deeper and deeper. Just as the soft, warm, substance was about to devour her, she opened her eyes again cautiously. Then she…saw…light, shining so brightly that she had to cover her face. Peering through her fingers, she recognized that the bright light was the sun coming through a window, her window, from the cream colored sheers that draped across the shades in her bedroom.

Sunshine… new light, for a new day, gives an illusion of restfulness and peace, “I’m looking forward to this new day that God has made.” She remembered the scripture; I will lift up my eyes unto the hills. From whence cometh my help? My help from the Lord who made heaven and earth. So she got up, got dressed and carried on as if it were a “normal day,” knowing there was nothing normal about it. “There was something unusual about these dreams, “I’ve been having them for weeks, months, even years… that’s weird. I have mastered the art of ‘faking it until I make it.’ Maybe one day, this will go away for good. At times, I’ve gone for months without any hint of these nightmares, maybe one day…” She said to herself, “It’s always… maybe one day,” and she prayed silently, He will not let my foot slip- he who watches over me will not slumber. Indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. “That gives me so much peace…I know I can make it! I know without a doubt God is watching over me. So, I carry on, for how long? Until…next time?”

It all seemed so paradoxical. She was aware that there was a deeper meaning to all of this. She had done research on dreams, trying to find a way to unravel the web of confusion, she often found herself. She read her Bible, she recorded her thoughts and prayers in her journal, she fellowshipped with other strong Christian believers. But, something was still missing; she never seemed to find the answer. She always ended up in the same situation, the same predicament.

Then Diane remembered a movie she saw years ago entitled, Awakening. It was a 1990 drama film based on Oliver Sacks’ 1973 memoir of the same title. It told the true story of British Oliver Sacks, fictionalized as American Malcolm Sayer (portrayed by Robin Williams), who, in 1969, discovered beneficial effects of the drug L-Dopa. He administered it to catatonic patients who survived the 1917-28 epidemic of encephalitis lethargica. Leonard Lowe (played by Robert De Niro) and the rest of the patients were awakened after decades of catatonia and have to deal with a new life in a new time. While Sayer and the hospital staff were thrilled by the success of L-Dopa with this group of patients, they soon found that it was a temporary measure. As the first to “awaken”, Leonard was also the first to demonstrate the limited duration of this period of awakening, (Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia).

After recalling the movie, Diane started to wonder what it was that kept her from experiencing a whole new life that would be lasting and unwavering. Recently, during a discussion with a friend regarding moving over some hurdles in life, the friend commented, “What we need is a spiritual awakening.” “That’s exactly what I need… a spiritual awakening!” she responded. We buy the latest gadgets and try the newest remedies, only to find that the solution, like the drug used by Dr. Sayer, is only temporary. Then we soon turn back to our old lives. We are too skeptical to relinquish our lives to our Savior and are more willing to continuously try untested drugs of choice, whatever they might be. Some of us however, are unwilling to try the only solution that is lasting. We hold on to our failures, our faults and our fantasies, too fearful to give ourselves over to a new life in Christ. No injection, no pill, no amount of therapy can change our lives without Jesus. Wherefore, he saith, awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light, Ephesians 5:14, (KJV).

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