Last night my dreams were filled with a deepness I've not experienced in a long time. Normally I remember my dreams immediately upon waking, but this morning I couldn't. All I could recall was that they were meaningful. And that really bothered me. I hate not being able to remember my dreams... especially if they're meaningful!! So I sat and pondered on it for a minute until it hit me....
I dreamed I was in an open air cafe eating with my family. It was very busy, the food was wonderful, and we were having a nice time. A man was seated across from us with his little daughter, with my back facing them. The little girl walked over, stood right next to me, and stared at me. And she wouldn't stop either. It annoyed me immensely, so I asked her to go back to her father and sit down. She stood there for a while, but eventually did. She kept coming back, sometimes babbling, sometimes quiet, but all the while staring at me. I kept sending her back, and got angrier and angrier, but didn't want to create a scene in the crowded restaurant, so I internalized the anger. I was boiling inside! She came and stood by me, staring yet again, a final time and I couldn't take it anymore. With my voice full of venom, I hissed at her to go sit back down and to not bother me again. She was visibly upset by this, but I didn't care... I was angry at my meal being interrupted. I turned back to my meal, angrier than ever. And then her father stood up.... He berated me in front of the entire cafe. He yelled at me for being so hateful and said terrible things to me and about me, in front of everyone. Here's the kicker: Everything he said was true. I sat there for a minute, humiliated & stunned, deciding on how to respond when it hit me.... I could ignore him (which I'm not good at doing), I could angrily defend myself (which is what I wanted to do), or I could diffuse the situation and apologize (which I hate doing). I thought it over for a bit, weighing my options when it occurred to me that I'm trying to be a better person, I'm trying to be more like Jesus. So I stood up, walked over to him, and in front of everyone apologized for being rude and ugly to his daughter. I admitted that all of the terrible things he said were true and I humbled myself before him, his little girl, my family, and the entire restaurant. I felt ashamed, but I also felt like a weight had been lifted. I felt relief. The man nodded and went back to his meal. I sat back down with a red face and continued mine. And then I woke up.
Once I remembered this dream, I knew I needed counsel, so opened my Bible and started reading. Wouldn't you know, this is what I read:
3 Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly. 2 Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way.
3 We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth. 4 And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. 5 In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches.
But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. 6 And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself.
7 People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, 8 but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. 9 Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. 10 And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! 11 Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water? 12 Does a fig tree produce olives, or a grapevine produce figs? No, and you can’t draw fresh water from a salty spring.
13 If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. 15 For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. 16 For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.
17 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. 18 And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.
Lately I've been very quick to spout off when I'm angry. I've hurt a lot of peoples feelings. I think someone is trying to tell me something. And I think I need to listen.
(Marples looking all sad)
Photo By: Me