I woke today in an utter panic, trying to recall exactly which scheduled activity was next so I could time the process of extricating myself from my bed & my own muscular pain. I was quickly relieved to realize this was the last Saturday for probably 3 months that I had NOTHING planned…except to read a book for class. NOTHING.
And then the dream from which I had just awoken came flooding my consciousness. To say it had a related theme to the night’s before is an understatement. I cannot get into details because they would reveal real-life secrets about others in the dream, but the overall gist was the Eucharist, a profound desire to partake of it at every opportunity, and a marked longing & misery when it is not possible.
The liquid of the first dream was quite clearly wine. I recall the taste of it on my lips like it just happened. But the liquid of last night’s dream was…Gatorade. Yeah. The sport stuff. A priest was unpacking it from a box and making the sign of the cross over each bottle filled with garishly coloured electrolytes.
“Liturgical Gatorade?” I joked. “Why?”
“Here, have one,” he said to me, handing me a fruit punch. That’s when I woke up.
In my reading today I started laughing out loud when I came across an analysis of the woman at the well. She’s in The Gospel of John, chapter 4 somewhere. Jesus asks her for a drink because he’s thirsty, & then he tells her he can give her living water. The Psalm about the deer longing for running streams comes to mind.
We are all longing. From the cheerfulest youth pastor to a billionaire exec, a single mom to a happily married person with abundant resources, to the homeless guy yelling at you outside the market, to the soldier to the teacher to the priest to the baby to the doctor to the Queen to Beyoncé, we all long for holiness (though we may call it different things).
The kingdom of God is literally among us & we completely fail to participate in it. It’s like that episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation where Geordi & Ro are phase shifted & can’t quite reach the people in the correct phase. They’re on the ship, but not quite home.
We’re here, people. We’re the kingdom of God. Be in it. It’s a simple matter of making a phase shift.
A simple matter, she says.
Well, yes, years of spiritual direction later…anyhow, I phase shift out of the kingdom all the time. We all do. Some people live within breathing distance of it, but don’t breathe it in. Their whole lives. Pray for them. It’s so hard. You remember.
Heck, you may be there now. Spiritual desolation comes to the most devout. It lingers as long as you need it to teach you.
There are a couple of major things for which I thirst. The Kingdom of God is one. Perhaps if I keep pursuing that relentlessly, the other will come.