Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Intro to "JOY" that I didn't use on Sunday...

   Don’t you love that song (I’ve Got Joy Joy Joy Joy Down in My Heart)?? It always reminds me of kids at camp and campfires and laughing silly. LOVE IT!!
   I’m always wondering how I’ll open the topic for our weeks of planning….and God is always faithful!
Friday morning I woke up from a dream that really impressed upon my memory. I have really vivid dreams, like it’s real life. A lot of times going to bed is like going to the movies and not knowing what movie I’m going to see!
   This dream I had was sort of scary for me….I was driving along a freeway, and I felt like it was in a rural area, but it was raining really hard. A bad storm, with driving rains and windy out, and I was driving a high profile vehicle, actually, I think it was a van. There was a woman beside me and kids in the back – but I have no idea who they were, they were just people I felt comfortable traveling with.
   Well the storm kept getting worse, and my windshield wipers were not able to keep up with the rain and I wanted to pull over to get out of the storm – but there was nowhere to stop, and I couldn’t see to get off the road. All of a sudden there is water dripping on me, then it’s FLOWING on me, and I look up and there’s an air vent above me to blow air back to the people in the back of the van, and the wind is blowing rain water IN through that vent, and it’s pouring on me. Suddenly there is NO vision in front of me….it’s black!
The rain is still pouring in, but I don’t hear it raining any more and it’s not hitting the windshield – but the sky is this blackness in front of me, and we are moving! Clearly we are in a huge tornado, and in my dream I am thinking “why didn’t I turn on the radio? I always listen to the radio when the weather gets bad!”. I’m eerily calm in all of this. No one is panicking – we’re just in our seats, in our seatbelts, and it’s just like we’re traveling….no screaming or crying or anything. I think it happened so quickly that we didn’t have time to react that way.
   Then it stops. We’re under a freeway overpass, in a large city. Clearly we’ve traveled a long distance. There are houses on the side of the freeway, and people are coming out of the houses and going back to their vehicles. A man and woman get back on their motorcycles and drive away….and I’m pulled over on the side of the road….and for whatever reason take out my cell phone and call 911, but we’re clearly all ok. Just a little shook up. We get out of our van and start talking to others on the side of the road, and I’m on hold waiting for 911…not sure why. Then a man walks up and he’s hurt, so I ask if he needs emergency attention and he says no, he’ll be ok, but his friend has a broken clavicle (who dreams like this???) and I repeat it wondering how he’s so sure that it’s a clavicle that’s broken – but he explains that he’s an intern and I look to the side and a woman is sitting on a block wall with a piece of lumber under her chin, bracing her and immobilizing her upper torso….like it would help her somehow…and I’m clueless…just waiting for 911 to answer and wondering what the heck just happened here. Then I wake up.
   The dream in itself has NOTHING to do with our topic today, which is JOY. But waking up from the dream has everything to do with it. See, I dream all the time. I am super sure that Mark is SO TIRED of hearing my nighttime escapades as I tell him the infinite details of what I’ve just experienced, things that make no difference at all in the grand scheme of HIS life. But sometimes in my dreams he has done something that’s hurt me, or made me mad. I know it was a dream, it didn’t really happen, but it’s hard for me to separate that fact from the reality of it. My brain can’t move in that direction – to NOT be mad/upset/or even thrilled with him. I have to make an effort to move beyond it, I have to make a choice to get over it and move on. So I do.
   OK – maybe the dream really did have something to do with our topic. Because in reality, in that dream, I was caught up in living life, traveling down my road. Bad stuff happens, and sometimes we are coping with it the best we can, and even stay in the direction we are supposed to be going in but it gets to be too much. We just want to pull over, stop the car, get out of the way of life for a while until we can regroup and get a better perspective of it. But we can’t. We don’t see the bigger picture of life and where we are in the storm. We just keep moving. Then something catastrophic happens, and we think “oh my, now what do I do??” realizing that there really isn’t ANYTHING we can do at all…life’s just pushing us, or pulling us, or moving us along. We have NO control over it, and sometimes we have time to panic but sometimes we don’t.  Sometimes we’ve been moved by God into a place of safety and solitude and we have to just choose how to respond, how we will react, and to choose the right way – to serve ourselves? Do we need help?? Or are we concerned with others? Maybe they have a different story to tell about their place in the storm and we need to help them – take our eyes off of ourselves and just focus on who needs the Savior’s attention – and how can I be used to help them in their journey – because CLEARLY that wind was blowing and He moved me in a way I could not have moved alone – and he put me in this place of the storm and He moved me IN the storm and he brought me OUT OF the storm and made me to land here….and I am choosing to live in the JOY of that! Not in the fear of storms, or of driving vans, or even going to sleep because I might dream again!! I will live in a place of JOY to celebrate the story, the journey of how He is moving me, changing me, making me realize that I have a purpose – even if all I can do is call for emergency to assist others – which in reality is calling to our Father in prayer. 
   In the film clip we’ll see how someone else has chosen to focus on the places of  JOY through the scriptures, and the effect it can have on their life too…even when bad stuff happens, and how our choices affect how others feel. (Show clip of “PollyAnna” by Disney, scene is where she meets the minister out in the field as he is practicing his sermon, and they discuss “the happy texts” from the Bible).