i wanted to start this post with a clever insight or a witty reference toward the total mind grenade that is INCEPTION…but i am a) not smart enough b) getting ahead of myself.
IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THIS MOVIE, you should. and when you do, come back and read the rest of this post, so i don’t spoil parts of the movie for you.
IF YOU HAVE SEEN THIS MOVIE, check out this guy’s interpretation. i came out of the movie in an intellectual depression. i get that way when i can’t wrap my mind around something. i felt about 87% better after reading this article.
now, i wasn’t going to blog about the movie because this is supposed to be a blog on christian culture and the last thing i want to do is be THAT writer. you know, the one who feeds on every pop culture spectacle by giving the christian view/version/interpretation. but, like an idea that’s been INCEPTED into my mind…i can’t stop looking at the world around me through the lens of this incredible movie.
i’ve been thinking alot about death lately.
not in a creepy, angelina jolie way, but more of a…musing. i recently had my wisdom teeth out and while on vicodin, i dreamt that i died. it was a vivid dream and death felt just like…falling asleep. (the heaven that i dreamed is beautiful enough for a whole separate post…) and i’ve been wondering how accurate my dream actually was. i’ve been thinking about that moment when our inner candle gets snuffed out, something in us dissapears and we we stop being a person and become just an object that gives people the creeps. it’s weird, right? everyone wonders what it’s like to die.
in pilgrim’s progess, christian has to walk through the river of death to get to the celestial city and as he walks in to his neck and the water starts to wash over his face, he panics, floundering about until he feels land under his feet again and suddenly he’s in heaven. props to john bunyan for this world renowned allegory but WOW could you come up with a less horrifying analogy than drowning!!? i remember in touched by an angel, when andrew – the angel of death – would come to a person while they were sleeping and explain that it was time to go see God. he was so pretty and calm and he would take them by the hand and they’d walk off into invisibility, beautiful as can be. that was nice.
in a jodi picoult book i read once (don’t hate…) she wonders if it isn’t like when you’re little and you fall asleep in the car during a long trip. someone bigger than you carries you inside and lays you in bed and in the morning you wake up and wonder how you ended up at home. and i always liked that explanation. i thought about it while i was watching inception and also after i had my vicodin dream.
stay with me on this one.
i wonder if that’s most what it will be like to die. in terms of inception, you “hit the drop” and wake up with a start, look around and realize you’re Home. you’re with your Creator, the Being that fills the universe with love, joy, color and goodness. and you’ll think “oh good, i’m awake!” and all of the things you did during that dream on earth will seem a little fuzzy. being truly awake, you can look back on that dream – the life you lived so ferociously and obliviously – and see all of the things that don’t quite make sense. because, like leo says, you don’t realize that something was odd until you wake up. like how you cared more about being promoted than you did about helping your neighbor pay his heating bill. or how you attended church so faithfully but never forgave your ex for cheating on you. or how you spent so much time shopping and so little time trying to get in touch with this overwhelming Presence of love that fills up your senses now that you’re awake for the first time.
and i wonder how silly i’ll feel. how funny my little blog will sound in the presence of pure Truth. how bizarre things like pornography, competition, pollution and self-help books will seem. how wimpy and broken our religious rituals will appear. how truly SHORT our time will have seemed.
and we’ll all be up there together, God chasers, awake and giddy with that specific combination of excitement and relief that comes from waking up from a dream – no matter how good or bad. and like all dreams do, maybe our times on this version of earth will fade from memory and all that will be left is the lessons we took away. the lessons in love and mercy, kindness and joy. forgiveness and patience. the kind of lessons that cs lewis says will make us “more solid, more suitable for heaven”.
sometimes i can catch myself falling asleep. it’s that feeling of falling away, the pull toward blankness. i always resist it, as i’ve always fought the unknown. it’s not that i’m scared- it’s a control thing. but if that’s death, that right there…the feeling i felt in my dream…i believe that someday – when i’ve told my stories and fought the fights i need to fight and learned the lessons i still need to learn – i’ll reach a point where i won’t resist it. i hope that a lifetime of Godchasing will have made the unknown a little closer to known. and i’ll just…go.
and the most affirming, comforting moment in my life thus far?
in my trippy little vicodin dream, as sun splashed into the ocean and i felt the rush of a million birds flying at me (i told you it would take a whole separate post to explain…) and the world disintegrated around me, pulling me into death, the only thought in my dream-dying mind was this:
“i’ll see you soon, Jesus”.
and i think i can spend the rest of my time here on earth sprinting toward that same steady thought.
so thanks, vicodin.