There’s always another way

th-6I fell out of bed just the other night. Fell smack on the floor and hit the side of my face on the dresser on my way down. It’s still black and blue. It looks like I was in a fight, which I was. I was dreaming at the time that I was fighting someone. I must have taken a big swing at whoever it was and threw myself right off the bed. I hit the ground hard, because my wife heard it from the kitchen and came running. I know now why they call it a hardwood floor.

Like most couples I know, we are on opposite ends of the day/night spectrum. Marti’s prime hours are from two in the afternoon until about two in the morning. I’m good from four in the morning until about four in the afternoon. At ten o’clock at night, I’m barely standing and Marti is just getting her second wind. We’re like ships passing in the afternoon. By nighttime, we’re hardly within sight of each other. I can see her smokestack steaming off in the distance while I’m shutting my engines down and starting to drift.

That’s what happened when I fell off the bed. I wasn’t officially in bed yet. I was still in my clothes. I think I might have been folding laundry when the bed looked so good to me that I decided I’d just lie there for a minute until she was ready for bed. Next thing I knew, I took a swing at someone and ended up on the floor.

Marti was actually surprised that I was fighting someone. “It’s so against your nature to fight,” she said.

“It was ‘only in my dreams,’” I said, mimicking the popular phrase.

I don’t remember who it was I was fighting or why, but I must have packed quite a wallop, or maybe he did, since I’m the one who ended up on the floor!

Marti’s right. I dislike fighting, but not necessarily in my dreams. I bet I do a good deal of fighting in my dreams, if I could remember them.

We’ve been talking a lot about nonviolence in the Catch lately and maybe that’s why I’m dreaming about fighting. It’s human to fight — to defend oneself. Peter resisted the soldiers who came to take Jesus away. Lopped an ear off of one of them that Jesus immediately healed. What Jesus was accomplishing at that point would never be won by a sword.

I think the deal with fighting is that there is almost always a better way to resolve something. Fighting only proves who’s bigger or better; it doesn’t change anything about what started it in the first place. And usually, once you are underway, you forget why you were in it anyway.

Fighting almost always involves retaliation, and once that starts, it can go on for centuries as it has in many parts of  the world. That’s why Jesus has us turning the other cheek, going the extra mile, taking whatever is dished out at us and returning good for evil. It’s the only thing that will stop the cycle.

We can’t exact justice upon one another. We don’t know the whole story, nor do we know the heart. Let it go. God knows how to do this and He knows when it’s the right time. Leave it to Him to do, otherwise, you might just end up on the floor and forget why it was that you got there.

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9 Responses to There’s always another way

  1. Mark Seguin says:

    Great advice 4 me to follow Pastor John: “We can’t exact justice upon one another. We don’t know the whole story, nor do we know the heart. Let it go. God knows how to do this and He knows when it’s the right time. Leave it to Him to do, otherwise,..” What I mean is for the past month or so, a person has been knocking on my door @ about 4 or 4:30 AM a few times during the week, or weekend – I know because it does wake-me-up and I look @ my alarm clock – a few times I have tried to rush out of bed to go see who it is, yet everytime I am to late and no-one is in the hall-way. All that would or may happen wouldn’t be good for them or me if I ever do catch them – so 4 now, 4 me it’s best I try to let it go and give it to the Lord…

    • jwfisch says:

      This reminds me of Samuel who was awakened in the night by someone calling his name. He finally realized it was the Lord, so he said “Speak, Lord, I’m listening,” and God talked to him. Next time someone knocks on your door at 4 a.m. ask the Lord to speak to you. It could be Him!

      • Mark Seguin says:

        Dear Pastor John, thank-you, thank-you and one more thx! As i read this i had a few tears came to my eyes, because i thought just that! And sure enough, the other day after the knocks, I heard within my heart of heart some very good information on advice for my business… Thx be to our great God 4 helping turn things around! 🙂

  2. Carole in Midland says:

    Most of the time my dream life is much more exciting than my waking hours. I am always the “hero” in my dreams – rescuing somebody or some critter from something and soundly defeating the enemy at hand. My dreams are quite vivid and I typically recall them well. One thing I’ve noticed – things I do in my dreams make perfect sense, but in the light of day make no sense at all and would never work in the “real world” the way they did in my dreams. If our dreams represent who we’d like to be or who we subconsciously are, I think I like my alter ego. At least she gets things DONE! Of course, she’s much younger, being the 27-year-old I imagine myself to be… until I look in the mirror!
    Um, maybe you could consider moving your dresser over a little in case you go for round 2 in your next flight of fancy!

  3. Cathy says:

    Perfect timing to receive this message from you John! I can relate to your message. have been fighting an invisible enemy in my dreams’ the past 8 months or so….mainly because I am fighting a battle in my everyday reality; to let go of the pain of rejection and betrayal that happened to me…and truely forgive this person. This invisible enemy is spiritual warfare…and it haunts me in my dream world. My nightly “dream fights” are a spar with the enemy who wants me to stay hurt and bitter; and even though I justify in my mind that I have every “right” to feel the way I do; I know I have to die to these thoughts and forgive them. I wake up feeling drained everyday. As a believer I do know what I need to do to release these hurts to God and to forgive others….but apparently I am still wrestling with the hurt and pain this person caused me. My dreams are the same most nights. When does one truly know they have forgiven? I say I have, and really think I have deep down in my heart…but my dreams think otherwise. As you wrote John…we don’t know the heart…and we need to let it go. I understand that and believe those words too. I pray and read scripture…I seek the Lord’s wisdom to heal my pain. Any ideas?

    • jwfisch says:

      Wow. Sounds like your fleshly self is still holding onto its desire for vengeance. It always will. Flesh doesn’t ever get any “better.” You just learn to deny it and say Yes to the Spirit. Ask God to rule your sleep. Sounds like you are believing the Lord in your conscious self but not your subconscious. You need the Spirit to rule your sleep. Rest in Him. He will do it. He is the Lord of your sleep as He is the Lord of your waking hours.

  4. Marc says:

    John, maybe you were fighting the devil. I heard a story of how Martin Luther once threw his inkwell at him.

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