There are days when, without warning, I begin channeling my eight-year-old self. My third-grade self, who daydreamed without ceasing. An issue that concerned both my teacher and my mother. My teacher because I wouldn’t always respond when called upon. My mother because I wouldn’t always respond when summoned.
I’ve always had a vivid imagination, but it took flight that year. That was when I began writing poetry and short stories. Wild and crazy things that grew from a lot of reading of “Tales of the Crypt” comic books and Nancy Drew mysteries.
My teacher called it my creative imagination.
My mom said I didn’t pay attention.
It resurfaced today as I was leaving the grocery store. John and I had just returned home from a team retreat that was one of the best I’d experienced. Genuine relationships. People being open and honest. Good fun, good food, good friends. So, needing a few odds and ends, a quick in and out of the market was required.
I didn’t notice John walking ahead of me. My mind was somewhere else. Where, I can’t really say. We put the groceries in the car, and I returned the cart to it’s holding corral.
“I don’t think you want to get in here.”
I looked up and saw a younger man, cute as a bug, grinning at me. A college student. (The University of Central Florida sticker was the giveaway.)
I felt like an idiot.
In my defense, he was parked right next to us. The obvious difference was he drove a beautiful late model car. Compared to our sad-looking Toyota, it wasn’t the car that confused me.
John was quite helpful.
“I tried to tell you. To get your attention.”
“Were you whispering? Or just laughing?”
It’s hard, at times, to focus on what’s necessary. My mind has the capacity to flit like a butterfly or bury it’s head like an ostrich. Depending on the subject matter in my mind’s lens.
There’s nothing wrong with daydreaming. At times it’s like a vacation in my brain. A short jaunt away from the reality of what I’m dealing with. Mind spa.
At other times it keeps me from following through on things I need to finish. Or mires me in places that aren’t good. Where I hear the negative things people have said about me. Or I’m choosing to believe lies that my perception has embraced. Like Vivian (Julia Roberts) in the movie Pretty Woman, when Edward tells her she’s a very bright and special woman. Her response is, “The bad stuff is easier to believe.”
God is a resting place for my thoughts. A safe haven for my mind.
“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed on You.” Isaiah 26:3
Daydreaming is a momentary escape.
But when I’m in my right mind (and how rare is that!), I want to fill the space between my ears with things that matter. Truth. And I’ve got to believe that God, being who He is, has the corner on truth.
It’s definitely safer and more productive than getting into strange cars.