Friday, November 14, 2008

And the Check is Cashed...

Wednesday morning I had a nightmare that left me absolutely shaking. Nightmares when I was little were based on fear. I didn't think I was afraid of much, but I was struck with terror at the vision of huge soldiers that would stalk me, their footsteps constantly echoing in the darkness... with no way to hide... and always running. As I've conquered my fears, those nightmares went away. Now my nightmares are revelations on my inner self... mirrors of truth showing me things I really don't want to see.

Sometimes I let my feelings boil. I see or experience something unjust in the world, and indignation rises up inside me until I could breathe fire. I never do, in real life. I let time quench the flames and write my feelings to temper them, using the fire as fuel to work for change. But while they rage I am in dangerous territory. In my dream, one rash decision left me with images of how my actions could injure those I love. The dream itself was only seconds long... but showed me, in a an incredibly memorable way, how I needed to change.

For the first part of the day, the effects of the nightmare were terrible. I was in shock and shaking. I wondered how I could be such a horrible person – how such a fatal flaw in my character could have gone unchecked for so long. The day went on and I struggled in my classes (only winning in racquetball because my opponent was using his left hand). I held a review session for physics and, after we had gone over basic concepts of rotation, I tried to help the 30 students who were there on their homework. I looked at the problem and had no clue even how to start. I didn't know how to access the solutions, and we were all stuck, so I closed the session and sent the students home. Not only was I a terrible person, I was also a terrible TA.

I got in my car and sat there, thinking about everything that had happened. I hadn't felt this horrible in a while... and I wondered why. And then I realized what was happening. On Monday, I had asked the Lord for help in becoming a better... and He was simply showing me the things I needed to do to improve who I was. With a rueful smile, I remembered the exact words of the missionaries at the MTC. They had promised me that my desire would come “maybe not today, or tomorrow, but soon.” Monday = today. Tuesday = tomorrow. On the morning of the 3rd day, Wednesday, my boot camp of perfection began. Today's lesson: Tranquility and Humility.  I only hope that I can make it out alive.

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