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Monday, July 21, 2014

Recurring Nightmare Lesson

What dream (or nightmare) has inspired (or haunted) you? (Serendipity Bible 10th Anniversary Edition, p. 1547).

In English, this motto is most commonly Be Prepared. In the third part of Scouting for Boys Robert Baden-Powell explains the meaning of the phrase:

The Scout Motto is: BE PREPARED which means you are always in a state of readiness in mind and body to do your DUTY.
  • Be Prepared in Mind by having disciplined yourself to be obedient to every order, and also by having thought out beforehand any accident or situation that might occur, so that you know the right thing to do at the right moment, and are willing to do it.

I have recurring nightmares of the following types (specifics will vary): for example, I may dream I have an assignment due in 1 day requiring extensive research and there is no way I can make it--I have known of the assignment for months; I am taking a critical test and turn to the final section and find it so extensive I am impossibly short of time to complete it; I am on an isolated road in a remote area and have a flat tire and there are snakes slithering about;  I have a presentation to make in 10 minutes and have found I have left my prepared speech at home.

These nightmares have a nexus of dark characteristics: 1) I am not prepared and/or 2) there is insufficient time to right the situation and 3) and/or I am beyond help or no help is available.  These afflictions all rain down on critical, highly significant and important matters.  Also, I always tend to be at fault in some discernible way.  If I had been a good scout and thought things out beforehand and had been prepared, none of the disasters would have occurred.  I am judged and found wanting.  So guilt entirely saturates my sleeping mood.  I awake and after a few moments of increasing consciousness am highly relieved to find the experience a dream and to sense the guilt quickly evaporating.  But as a residue I have received a memorable lesson and warning--like a good scout Be Prepared.  

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