Spartanburg, SC – Last night I checked into my hotel and worked on an upcoming sermon until about midnight. Then I fell into bed and slept soundly until the early morning hours when I had a vivid dream.
In my dream I was visiting the island of Trinidad, and I dreamed that my literary agent, Chris Ferebee, and his wife, had a condominium there and offered to let me use the spare bedroom. So I unpacked my things and went down the hill to the beach where I laid down in the surf and felt the gentle waves lapping against me. Resting my head on a little sand bar, I dozed off. When I awoke, I was shocked to see the water around me teeming with little sea-worms. The water was just black with little loathsome swimming creatures, all of them slithering against me as if trying to latch onto me. I jumped out of water in a flash; and I awoke with a start.
The next morning, I had an appearance of a show called “A Time for Hope,” and the other guest was a therapist named Deborah Dunn. We had a wonderful chat in the Green Room, and I told her about my dream.
She interpreted it for me instantly.
“Well,” she said, “the presence of your literary agent means that you were thinking about your career as a writer, and the tropical island represents an idyllic world. You enjoy writing, and you have idealized it as sunny and beautiful. Going to sleep in the ocean means that you want to relax and enjoy this place in your life. (In dreams, she explained, the sea is almost always a metaphor for life).
Then she added: “But those little worms are the demands, the fears and anxieties and insecurities that are keeping you from enjoying your place in life right now. Your dream is telling you that you’ve got to kill off those sea worms. You have to do something about those little troubling things that are trying to steal your joy. Your dreams will either become like your life, or your life will become like your dreams. You have to choose.”
I was stuck by what she said, and instantly identified one such “worm” that I needed to kill at once. It involves a simple change in my routine, but it will take a recurring pressure off my life. With my next round of deadlines next month, I am resolved to make that change; and we’ll see what happens.
I’m sharing this because I think most of us have little sea-worms we need to kill, or else our joy will be less than what God intends. Sometimes even a small change in routine can make a bid difference.
PS – After my interview, I remained in the studio to listen to Deborah’s. She has great insights into issues of marriage, romance, and relationships. She believes that Americans are battling a new addiction, to romance and idealized relationships. Instead of going from person to person looking for the perfect romance, we should work on the one we have and make it better. Her new book, Stupid About Men, will be out in February from Simon and Schuster. You’re invited to check out her website at http://www.deborahdunn.com.