I dreamt I was driving someone else’s car and giving a few friends a ride. We got in and I took off, then traffic slowed down. I applied the brakes but the car didn’t respond as quickly as I expected. We slid into the car in front of us. The impact was not hard, but it was hard enough to cause damage to both cars. Another friend was driving behind us, and he took my passengers where they needed to go. I was left to deal with the accident which wasn’t in my plan for the day. That’s when I woke up.
The day before a directee told me about a dream she’d had. It had profoundly impacted her. This made me pay attention to my dream. The first thing I noticed was that my reaction to the mishap wasn’t catastrophic nor was the outcome. In the past, if I imagined having an accident, I would feel panic and shame, but I was calm in my dream. I did all I could to prevent hitting the car in front of me except anticipating that the car I was driving needed extra time to stop.
I was disappointed that my day was disrupted. I had to change my plan and deal with the damage. I also had to learn to drive this car differently if I was going to keep driving it (or get the brakes fixed.)
The pivotal question was the significance of the car. I thought about my life and what seemed to fit the metaphor. It didn’t take long for me to admit–even though I didn’t want to–that it was my body. It’s not the body I used to have even ten years ago. It needs to be driven differently and, if it isn’t, I will feel the effects and others will too.
God’s message was gentle without a hint of blame or shame. Take care of your body. Be careful how you drive it.
I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
–Psalm 32:8 (NRSV)
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Last week a fellow came to the Wednesday Lunch Club. He was sick from sleeping in a moldy sleeping bag and tent. I called Progressive Housing Society to get a number for a local shelter and they told me to call 211, a help hotline. I did and the woman who took my call told me what shelters in our area had space available and emailed me their addresses. It would have taken me hours to get the information she had at her fingertips. According to bc211‘s website, it “is a nonprofit organization that specializes in providing free information and referral regarding community, government and social services in BC.” The website and hotline help BC residents find help when in an emergency or crisis or in need of counseling, financial assistance, housing, employment, medical services, victim services and more. If you’ve contributed to United Way, you’ve supported bc211’s Love Mischief.