I haven't blogged for a while as it has taken some time for me to get my new computer sorted out with the various bits of software one needs to us. My new MTN sim card also needed a bit of percussion therapy to persuade it to talk to my 'phone, so that I could load some airtime with which to purchase a data bundle so I could connect the new machine to the Internet ... starting to sound a bit like "The House That Jack Built", so let me stop there.
Anyway - what's with the title of this post, you may ask? Well, this past week our Phase One group had the privilege of spending a couple of days at a Benedictine monastery near Grahamstown. What struck me most about the monastic life is that firstly, the monks that live there are actually fairly "regular guys", and secondly that the monastic life is not much different to the ministry I have entered - the main difference being that I have a congregation that I am pastorally responsible for.
It was also intersting to follow the monastic routine for a bit, even though getting up at 5 am to be showered and ready in time for the 6 am vigil was quite a challenge! Then again, silence is from 8 pm to 8 am, so being in bed and asleep by 9 helped in this area.
I also particularly enjoyed the times of silence. This might have something to do with the scrambled state of mind I'm in at the moment, but the time to just be quiet, think, pray, and read was really beneficial. Just a pity it was only two days.
We were also ably led by Anthony sutton, who has journeyed with us throughout this year, and one of the sessions we did was to start journalling our dreams. I must confess that I had not really done much dream analysis before, although there was one particularly vivid dream about five years ago that I wrote down as soon as I woke up. But this was different, and the aim was to be open to the possibility that God can speak to us through our dreams as well, just as God did to the two Josephs (Old and New Testaments) and a number of others in Scripture.
I must say that the dreams that I recorded during the two days were, shall we say, "interesting" - definitely I would NOT want to share some of the details on a public forum for fear of being incriminated, but if one's dreams are a reflection of what is happening in one's life at a point in time, certainly I've had some experiences that have played themselves out in a scary yet revealing way in my dreams. Let's just say that Tuesday's dream involved me getting into a bitter racial argument with one of my fellow Phase ones, followed by a detailed explanation of light fittings to a stereotypical English football hooligan, with our District Bishop looking on, while in Wednesday's dream I was sitting in the offices of the MCO poring over the tax returns of the MCSA going back to 1980! (I wonder if certain officials in the MCSA have dreams involving me? Probably not...)
On my return from the retreat I decided to continue to record my dreams to see where this may be going. Thursday night I dreamt about a scene involving a church hall, a bank of computers, and Jenny's youngest son (whom I have met only once). Friday night was completely blank - I had no recollection of having dreamt anything at all. And this mornig I woke up with a vague recollection of having dreamt something, but for the life of me I cannot remember a thing.
Maybe my mind is either beginning to settle down, or I've gone completely over the edge and the men with the white coats will be meeting me at the church this evening!
A time to count our losses - This year has been a year like no other! We have gone through highs and lows - and then more highs and more lows. The roller-coaster ride has been hectic...
14 hours ago