An Evening With The Terminator, Part 2
Sleeping With The Terminator Is A Bad Idea
So, last time we palpitated over my recurring nightmare of the Terminator chasing me down with unrelenting and mindless determination as if I was Sarah Connor. Frazzled after three nocturnal rounds with the nightmare, and at a loss of how to understand it, I sought out a licensed counselor, specializing in dreams. Yes, there are such people. I didn’t know. Quickly, the professional dismissed the theories that I came armed with for explaining the meaning of the evening visits with the Terminator.
The theories included:
- I was feeling threatened by the conflict that was thrust upon me.
- I was feeling overwhelmed by the pressure I was under.
- I was losing my mind.
- I was losing my faith.
- The terminator represented the person most toxic to me in the conflict.
The counselor acknowledged that each of these ideas could be present in the nature of the dream but, ultimately, had nothing to do with the primary “teachable moment” buried within the nightmare. None of them answered the vexing question:
Why is the Terminator chasing…me?
Unless It’s Not
The jaw-dropping diagnosis? The Terminator, that most horrific vision of the Tin-Man gone wrong, was me.
“Uh, what?” I asked, stupefied.
“It’s you. You’re chasing you. Your subconscious is trying to get your attention. It appears that it has. That’s why you’re here, right?”
Wow. Rinse, repeat. Didn’t see that coming.
Short story: the conflict within the church that I was serving at the time–with its severely troubled, highly dysfunctional and toxic leadership, that was virtually unseen by the congregation and militantly protected by the pastoral staff–was damaging me. The stress, the hurt, the sense of betrayal…all angered me. Frightened me. At a very deep level. But I was plodding along, doing my best to “deal with it” and be a good, onward-marching, soldier. The counselor helped me see that, oddly enough, God was using a culturally ubiquitous image to reveal to me that I needed to utilize a different response to what was happening in my work-life…within my ministry. Going on, with my head low, was only supporting the status quo….which was easiest. But not what was best.
In what areas of your ministry or career do you think you might be settling for a head-low approach? Is it the best or just supporting the status quo? What needs to change? Who will benefit? Do you need an evening with your Terminator?