Remember, he said. The name of the room I wanted was Remember. That was what woke me. It shocked me awake, and the shock of it, the dazzling unexpectedness of it, is vivid to me still. I knew it was a good dream, and I felt that in some unfathomable way it was also a true dream. The fact that I did not understand its truth did not keep it from being in some sense also a blessed dream, a healing dream, because you do not need to understand healing to be healed or know anything about blessing to be blessed.
(Frederick Buechner, A Room Called Remember)
We want so much to understand everything, and to understand it right now. And not only to understand, but to acquire and to control as well. Control others, control life. Right now. If we can’t see it and grasp it and control it right this minute, we get all exhausted and freaked out. I’m pretty tired of being tired and freaked out.
It may be just a foible of post-modern life, this fast-food mentality. It may be just one of our quirks, like that crazy aunt (everybody has one) that makes us smile indulgently. Oh, ha-ha…sorry! Such a control freak. Oopsie.
I suspect, however, that our controlism is more sinister than that. It is at least an addiction, and possibly a sin: a crime against our humanity. The need for control (and what passes for “understanding”) is just a dark forgetfulness, and not in a nice, refreshing, dreamlike way. It is a nightmare, an existential not-remembering who we really are, and who we are in relation to God. God grant us the shock of trying to wake up and be dazzled. God bless us and heal us.
Slow down. Breathe. Dream. Remember.