Friday, 28 December 2018

The anxiety dreams of preachers and their possible roots

Last night I had one of those anxiety dreams which are common to teachers, doctors, preachers etc.

I often remember my dreams in considerable detail - such was the case yesterday.  

I'll spare you the whole thing but it had one of those "the Emperor's cloths" themes.

I was in the pulpit at St. Boniface Church in Sarasota (my dog joining me), but when I opened the folder which should have held my printed text I found pages and pages of recipes, but no sermon.

I had to wing it.  So I said  "There are two things we all need to know: human beings are capable of great cruelty, and human beings are capable of amazing love".

Then I was lost for words.  (Doesn't happen often in waking life!) 
So I said "let's read Psalm 11".   

I scanned the Sunday leaflet for the text of the Psalm, but it was nowhere to be found.  Someone handed me a Bible, but I couldn't remember how to find the Psalms.  Another person handed me a Prayer Book, but the page on which Psalm 11 was printed had been torn out.

The dream ended after I had scolded a gaggle of parishioners in the front pew who were discussing the comparative prices of foodstuffs in various local markets.  In my best preacher's voice I said "I wish that you would talk about this on Monday, not today"!

A classic anxiety dream:  in the pulpit without scarcely a word to word to say;  unable to find a Psalm in a prayer book or a bible.

I looked up Psalm 11 later today.  It's one of those Psalms in which the writer pours invective upon his enemies (which one of us has not had such horrid thoughts?)

One verse grabbed my attention:

If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?

It's a question I ask about the Brexit fiasco in my beloved native land, and about the Trumpian dangers to my dear adopted land.

New foundations.

Ruined foundations.

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