As we continue to wrestle with this question, “Where are you?” we may wrestle with things intellectually, in our minds, emotionally, trying to work through disappointments, grief, anger, etc., or we may wrestle in the place of the will, trying to discern our place of authority, choice, ownership, autonomy or resignation.
Mystery, that place of wonder and awe, of overwhelmed imagination, comes to push upon us in all of these areas. A sense of deep connectedness to all things while looking down from a mountaintop, or just watching people in an airport or a mall, can catch us off guard and surprise us. Any moment of insight like these can be delightful, and at other times disturbing.
I was just driving along, and I saw a man walking along the sidewalk. The thought occurred to me, “ I could just pull the wheel over and run this guy down.” I was immediately appalled at the thought, disgusted actually. Then I thought, “Maybe I’m losing it. Maybe I’m becoming unhinged somehow.” I was concerned that some terrible rage had overtaken me, that I was becoming some kind of monster. Mr. Hyde was coming forth maybe. Once again I thought, “interesting.”
I told some friends about this experience, and they laughed with me at how absurd it was, but that it was interesting. We had a conversation about how we filter our thoughts on all kinds of levels, and that we all have thoughts that seem to come from every conceivable direction. One person quoted from his psychology professor, others quoted pop song lyrics, and pop culture. “Paranoia, big destroy-a!” or “I have become, comfortably numb.” We kicked this around for quite awhile, and everybody agreed that I was probably going nuts. They all seemed to be OK with that. I, on the other hand, while laughing with everybody else at my darkly humorous introspections, was beginning another process of understanding a part of myself, a part of my heart, of my being.
During this same time I had a series of dreams. The dreams were disturbing. I was in a deep jungle, with Vietnam style warfare going on, and there I was right in the middle of it. I would hear guns firing and bombs going off, and I was firing off my gun back in the direction of the shots I heard. I was tired and unable to figure out what was going on. That was the first dream. The second dream was much the same, except that I found a bunker that was dug into the ground. I continued to fight from outside the bunker, and then from inside. The third dream started with me inside the bunker, still fighting and firing blindly into the jungle. But then a thought occurred to me. “If I go through that door inside this bunker, I won’t have to be in this warfare anymore. I’ll be safe.” So in the dream I went through the door in the back of the bunker and the dream was over. I never had the dream again. These three dreams happened during the period of time that I became a Christian. The third dream particularly happened about a week or two after my conversion. Interesting.