I woke up scared. I didn’t want to get out of the bed. I was due to begin a 3-day workshop on intercultural living with the Columban priests working in Korea. Most of these were Irish but that didn’t ease my nerves. They had a reputation for being a tough and fractious group of men.
Last night I had a dream. In the dream I was sitting on the parapet of a bridge, 50 feet above a river rushing and roaring over rocks. I gripped the narrow ledge of the bridge like a vice, frozen with fear. Beside me (in the dream) a small excited boy twisted and turned, seemingly unaware of any danger. I knew I should grab him to stop him falling into the raging torrent below. But as I steadied myself to act he jumped into the river shouting, “Let’s go.” I woke up startled.
Thinking about it later, I realized that the dream showed two parts of myself as I faced the workshop. One side of me was paralyzed with a fear of failing (falling). The other side of me just wanted to get on with it. So, when I fronted up to the 50 doubting Columbans, later that morning, I began by telling them my dream. Then I declared, “Let’s go.”
Columban Fr. Frank Hoare lives and works in Fiji.