School for Saints

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“Well, what would you like to talk about?” Dr. Daniels asked.

“Doc, it’s this dream I’ve been having. Or dreams you might say,” the patient responded.

He continued. “I’ve been out of school many years, but I keep having these two dreams. Sometimes separate, sometimes together.”

“Go on.”

“I am in college, and it’s the end of the semester. I realize final exams are soon, but that I’ve missed all the classes for one of the courses. Or sometimes I have gone to class, but I haven’t done any of the reading and am not prepared for the test.”

“My other dream, also takes place at school, I am in class, but, well, I am naked, or just wearing underwear. Sometimes the dream will have both elements, a real double whammy.” He stopped, and looked at the doctor. “I feel great anxiety during these dreams, even though I’ve been out of school a long time.”

“And you want me to interpret these dreams?” Dr. Daniels said.

“Yes.”

“Let me propose the following. Our distant ancestors did not have these same dreams, as few had any formal education. But they may have had ones like them. Perhaps they dreamed of harvest time, but that they had forgotten to plant the crops. Perhaps they dreamed it was winter, but their barn or root cellar was empty. Maybe they had forgotten to watch the weather signs, and had not taken in the harvest.”

“Dreams have a natural function related to the workings of our mind. But God also uses them to communicate with us. We cannot bear direct communication in our current state, so he uses symbols, metaphors, etc. to get our attention.”

Dr. Daniels paused here, and looked out the window for a few moments.

“Life is a school, and the most important lesson we must learn is that we are not God. Every good thing we have or accomplish is due to God’s generosity. But in this age, we have embraced the illusion of self-sufficiency, progress, and merit. Life is a test that we all fail, but our failure is set aside and forgiven by God. This dream is a reminder to the present generations of this truth.”

“You are naked because you will stand naked before God when you die. All the lies, rationalizations, and self-justifications will be stripped from you, and you will see the objective reality of your sin and need for redemption. Again, this is a dream pattern that has been tailored to the self-deluded generations of today.”

“Perhaps you could see the missed classes as a symbol of missed Sunday services, or missed opportunities to pray. The lack of study as neglected scripture reading and participation in the sacraments.”

The patient had sat and listened intently. He spoke, “Doc, I think that’s it. That theory fits me to a ‘T’. What do I owe you?”

“Nothing. I’ve been having the same dreams for years. I’m relieved to find I’m not the only one, and perhaps not mad after all. But if I am right, the experiment we can perform is clear, and perhaps the frequency or severity of the dreams will change. But perhaps not. It may be a periodic reminder you must simply endure.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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