I can’t be the only one that feels this way. My mind has been totally overwhelmed lately. I’ve told you in previous posts how tired I am, how worn down I’m feeling in the midst of all that is going on around us. I won’t rehearse all of those reasons, you can go read them. In short, I’m worn down over all the extra steps that have to happen to make worship happen online right now. I mean, it’s been good, like really good. People are staying engaged with their church and going deeper in their faith, but I think we’re all longing for some semblance of “normalcy” to return. And as we’ve continued to receive new guidance from the governor and now a phased reopening plan from our Bishop, it has become obvious to me that “normal” (whatever that was) probably will never be again in the exact same way. And maybe that’s okay. Maybe, as I’ve posited before, the Church desperately needed to be moving to new frontiers of ministry and COVID-19 just happened to be the catalyst. But that doesn’t change that I’m worn down. I’m worn out scrolling my social media and seeing just how political this has all become and how angry and awful people can still be to those who disagree.
Add all of this to the 20,000 other stressors that typically exist in the life of a pastor, parent, spouse…yeah. You get it.
When I’m feeling stressed out, my dreams become really unsettling. My brain never stops processing the stress and emotion. Maybe you’re the same way.
About a week ago I was having a really unsettling dream. I can’t tell you exactly what it was about anymore. It wasn’t a nightmare. Just….unsettling. I was tossing and turning and struggling. Then I shot up in bed….you know that feeling. Usually it’s a daze of confusion and sleepiness as you realize that it was all just a dream. Except, that’s not what happened this time.
As soon as I became aware that I was awake, there was music in my room. Not just in my head, all around me. It was so loud that I thought I must have left my phone on playing music. I reached over to shut it off….but it already was. There was just music, all around me, calming me. Why was it calming? Because this is what I was hearing:
May His favor be upon you
And a thousand generations
And your family and your children
And their children, and their children.
May His presence go before you
And behind you, and beside you
All around you, and within you
He is with you, He is with you
In the morning, in the evening
In your coming, and your going
In your weeping, and rejoicing
He is for you, He is for you
For the Lord your God is living among you.He is a mighty savior.He will take delight in you with gladness.With his love, he will calm all your fears.He will rejoice over you with joyful songs. –Zephaniah 3:17 (NLT)