I'm sitting in the Apple store, stuck, waiting for my replacement iPhone to update it's software and then restore a backup. I'll be here forever .
If you've ever been in an Apple store you'll know that they're bright open spaces, and big, so big.
There are people everywhere, and the friendly customer service guy checks up on me every now and then. He offered to look after my laptop for me while I go to do something more exciting, but I declined. It'll save me money, staying right here instead of wandering the shops.
Today was a tick off the dreaded to-do list. Yes, dreaded. There are the happy to-do lists, and then there are the dreaded ones. Like coming to get my phone replaced because it was intermittently not responding to my fingers. It has been that way for months but the thought of driving 45 minutes to visit the store, of the possible giant wait in store, of all the things that I could be doing instead that are demanding my attention, that I won't be able to do because of said wait, in store... it was dreaded. But now that I'm here I realise it's not that bad. I listened to a great podcast on the drive (here, if you're interested), I'll be home just after lunch with a new phone, I've catalogued and backed up a heap of my photos which was another dreaded job, and you know what? I'm going to buy myself something yummy for lunch.
Not that bad.
That's the thing about dread isn't it? I forces us us to look at it rather than on the thing that we are avoiding. And dread is a big shadow on a wall, a thing that goes bump in the night, filled with fear like a Dementor from Azkaban. Just like Dementors, dread can literally suck out our joy, and all we feel is it.
The brightness of this store this morning, with all its hustle and bustle, is in stark contrast to the dread that comes creeping in at night, when I try to sleep.
It's as if it lines up the worries, pointing at them with an evil laugh.
All those things you thought you could avoid thinking about during daylight hours? BAM.
Think you're going to be able to sleep? Nope.
From Ghoulies and Ghosties,
And long-leggity Beasties,
And all Things that go bump in the Night,
Good Lord deliver us.
Those things do come in the night. The fears and the anxieties that we've had no trouble with during the day starts to rise in our chests. Our mind begins to rest and the darkness brings a reminder of all the things we didn't do, all the things we dreaded and so avoided, and now are left undone and layered in more dread.
What I need to remind myself is that 1. there is a peace available, that He is a person, that He can come to the dark places and remind our souls that there is hope. And...
2. dread is a liar.
Granted, some things are actually scary.
Maybe it really is something awful. Maybe it's a thing that we should have a healthy fear of.
But most often with the things that I dread, is that when I finally drag my eyes away from the dread itself, the thing that I'm dreading is actually not that difficult to face.
Even if it means I actually need to square up my shoulders, take a deep breath and remind myself that I am more than capable. That I have the skills that it takes to have that conversation, call the accountant, run the event or step up to a pulpit. That I can do it.
Dread does not want you to do this. Dread wants to keep you looking at him, with his gnarly gripping fingers and his condescending sneer. But I'm telling you now. If I can look away from him, and look to a future with a brightness of hope, so can you.