Our alarm clock went off at 3:51 am this morning. I turned it off as DH dragged himself out of bed. He was going home teaching.
Normally, families are not eager to welcome their home teachers at the crack of dawn, or, in this case, before, but this was an exception. DH had volunteered to give his home teachee a ride to the airport to catch a 6am flight so his wife didn’t have to drag their two little kids out of bed at 4am. DH is a swell guy. He is currently napping.
At 6:45am this morning, our family, sans DH, purred to life. The baby needed nursing, the dog needed to be let out, and the kindergartener needed breakfast and a reminder not to pee on the toilet seat.
At 7:00am, I called DH’s cell phone to see why he wasn’t home from the airport yet. No answer.
At 7:15am, I called DH’s work, thinking that he might have headed to the office after dropping off our friend without telling me he was going straight there from the the airport.
At 7:30am, I was calculating where between our home and the airport he could have had his horrendous car accident, and exactly how much more time I should let elapse before I started calling hospitals, as well as what I would tell our children about their father they never really knew.
At 7:35am, DH phoned and said that he was on his way home, he had just stopped by the office to check on some things. I thanked him for calling, and he said, “So how long have you been worried that my guts were spilled all over the Interstate?”
“About a half an hour”, I told him.
DH knows me very well.
And so it comes as no surprise that I related to this article, Imagination Catastrophe,where the author describes herself as a Catastrophist. It’s a term I’ve never heard before, but boy howdy, does it describe me. Planning imaginary funerals, imagining evil happenings, concocting elaborate catastrophic events–I’ve done it all.
Frankly, I don’t think God approves.
2 Tim 1:7 states: For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
I’d like to think that God would have me put my vivid imagination to much better use than coming up with fearful scenarios about life, like finishing that novel that’s been perculating for years, telling my son a fantastic story, or coming up with a creative, environmentally friendly, non toxic method for getting rid of the moles in my front yard that does not consist of the use of hand grenades. (I’ve heard snake poop works wonders. I’m seriously considering that one.)
Better yet, I’m sure God would have me use my imagination to conjure up an image of the person He would have me be, and then taking steps to make that image a reality.
At General Conference last week, we heard a lot of counsel about becoming a more Christ-like people. Being told to be better (or “the best” –ahem) always makes me a feel slightly overwhelmed. Shocking, I know. And yet reading that article about the power of imagination made me wonder what would happen if I shifted my time spent imagining catastrophes to time spent imagining myself being more charitable towards others, more patient with my children, and (ahem again) more successful with my homemaking.
It’s quite a powerful image, actually.
Justine wrote a lovely post about her experience reading “Left to Tell”, a memoir about a survivor of the Rwandan Holocaust. After the Holocaust, as the author struggles to pull her life back together, she talks about the positive imagining she does for her life, picturing in her head the goals she wants to accomplish. Not surprisingly, she manages to make those images a reality. Rather than dwelling on the pain and horror that could destroy her, she chooses to imagine good. And the good comes.
I am going to try this. Instead of imagining the scary, I will imagine the good, the hopeful, and the happy. Instead of imagining the catastrophic, I will imagine the positive, the easy, and the successful. I will imagine what it is I can do, instead of what it is I can’t.
And the next time DH is late, I will imagine him coming home with chocolate, flowers, and a gift certificate to a day spa.
Well, can’t hurt, right?