Faith, Stress, and the Zombie Apocalypse

A week ago I got back from a trip, woke up on Thursday morning and remembered I’d agreed to do the church service on Sunday. I started thinking about my sermon and all the stuff I had to do over the next few days. I felt excessively busy, but in a very disorganized way. I had an overwhelming feeling of dread, like I wasn’t going to accomplish a single thing and would turn up at the church and say, “I got nuthin. Have a nice week.”

When I went to bed that night, it took me a while to fall asleep. When I finally did, I dreamt that I was in my church, standing in the pulpit, facing the congregation. There were the same expectant faces I’ve seen before, but with one major difference. Zombies were coming down the aisle toward me, lurching through the sanctuary door in groups of two or three. No one seemed to pay much attention, but periodically members of the congregation would turn around and take a few of them out with a handy shot to the head. I would pause every paragraph or so and throw a knife or a spear. I seemed to have an endless supply behind the pulpit. Other than that, we were all engaged in the activity of church.

When I woke up, my first thought was, “I’m so glad that’s not real. What a great life I have!”. How calm, orderly and safe it is, not to mention ultra comfortable and free from zombies. The second thought was directed to the Creator. “I get it,” I said aloud, in case there was any doubt. “My life is not that stressful!”

Besides setting me straight, the dream also gave me plenty to think about regarding how and what we humans believe, and the way we conduct our lives. As I took a bath that morning, reveling in the joyous luxury of being Canadian, having access to cheap hot water and the perk of working from home, I thought about faith. What do I take for granted, what do I hope for, and what do I believe to be true?

None of us, including astrophysicist Brian Greene, will ever truly understand how the universe works. I will never know how I managed to have such a blessed life when others live in such terrible circumstances. I certainly haven’t done anything to deserve mine. I believe that we blessed few have a duty to help other people, to be grateful for what we’ve got, and to realize that most of the time, the things we’re stressing about don’t really matter.

The next time you feel yourself building up a full head of steam over a missed deadline, a stressful meeting or telvision show that didn’t PVR (I can’t believe I’m admitting that) then remember this. At least you’re not busy fretting and stewing in the middle of a Zombie Apolcalypse. That’s enough to make anyone grateful.

Published by Judith Pettersen

Judith Pettersen is an author living in Canada. She blogs about her life in the north and the ups and downs of being a writer.

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