|Photo by Dematt 2006|
Saturday, March 28, 2015
Time for an Adjustment
I dreamed I was at a chiropractor’s office to have an adjustment. I check in at a desk on the first floor and realize it is a multilevel office space with rooms above surrounding a central area. Oddly, each of the three-story glass sides could be closed off by a very tall oak door extending from the top floor ceiling to the ground level floor, giving the effect of a full-sized dollhouse.
The lady checking in before me says she knows me from dancing, and asks “Are you OK? You look unwell since the last time I saw you.”
Taken aback, I reply curtly, “Maybe it’s because we’re both so much older. I don’t even recognize you.”
The woman turns away from my rude remark, and the blonde receptionist explains that my insurance will cover the full course of treatment, except for a copay of 50 cents. I don’t have two quarters with me, and she says I can bring it next time.
I spot the chiropractor scurrying around, a tall, thin, middle-aged man with mousy brown hair and thick glasses. He hands me a pile of forms and tells me to go upstairs, fill out the forms, and change in one of the rooms. Many people are there entering and leaving the rooms, but I finally find one that is unoccupied.
I remove my windbreaker and am surprised to find that I am wearing a very ornate necklace, composed of brass medallions welded together and enameled in bright blues and iridescent greens to give the effect of a peacock’s tail. I remove that and am confused and embarrassed to see that my neck and shoulders are wrapped in tin foil, and even worse, there is no trash can in the room where I could discreetly discard it. So I crumple it up and set the necklace and jacket on top of it on a counter, hoping the chiropractor won’t notice.
After a very long time, the chiropractor comes in and says he won’t need to examine or treat me, but that I’ll be put on a traction device. I get very angry that after this endless wait I will not even be treated by human hands but instead will be put on a machine, without any personal attention to my problem or symptoms I intend to leave, and I look for my jacket and necklace, but they have disappeared. I start yelling loudly that I’m going to expose the chiropractor and his practice for fraud.
As I awaken and come to my senses, I realize that it is indeed time for an adjustment – an attitude adjustment, that is, and not a chiropractic adjustment. Throughout the dream I had become increasingly annoyed and ultimately ballistic with those around me, when in fact I had no one to blame but myself.
As a born-again Christian who has placed her faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) as the only Way to Heaven (John 14:6), I am blessed to have His Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 1:13; 4:30) and the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16) within me. I have no business turning to the world to solve my problems when the Spirit within gives me access to all of His wisdom, power, and love. True, I often fail to trust Him because I still must deal with my sin nature (Romans 7:5-25), but that is no excuse for expecting help from the world system instead, which can only disappoint (2 Corinthians 6:14).
Jesus Christ is not only our Healer and Great Physician (Jeremiah 8:22; Mark 2:17; Matthew 9:12; Luke 4:23), but He is our Compass Who aligns us with His perfect will, if we allow it (Luke 22:42). That is not to say that God cannot work through doctors and modern medicine, for He does, yet we need to seek His guidance for our physical as well as our spiritual health (James 5:15).
The chiropractic office in the dream may symbolize man’s vain attempts to manipulate the truth of God’s Word, just as an inept chiropractor may attempt to heal by spinal manipulation, only to cause more harm than good. False churches spreading false doctrine (2 Timothy 4:3-4; Matthew 7:15; 21-23) are packed out with seekers looking for an easy fix for their heartache, but the solutions offered are no more real than a doll’s house or a set for The Twilight Zone.
Often these churches are not even led by in-person preaching, relying instead on a mechanical projection of a preacher delivering a message somewhere else. The traction apparatus offered in the dream, instead of a specific treatment plan based on a careful in-person evaluation, suggests the harm of a “church” where the sheep have no shepherd (Matthew 9:36; Mark 6:34). Just as I was given many forms to fill out in the dream, some cults have their members complete “personality inventories” or other questionnaires dealing with sensitive information that can be used to manipulate rather than to help.
The absurdly low copay of 50 cents in the dream suggests to me the philosophy of cults and works-based religions. These insist that Jesus’ finished work on the cross (John 19:30; Hebrews 10:10-14) is not enough to ensure our salvation, and that we have to bring our own good deeds to the table if we hope to earn our way to Heaven.
Yet the Bible says that we are saved by grace through faith, and not by our own works (Ephesians 2:8-9). Fifty cents is not even a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of a complete course of treatment, and any works we could add to the perfect sacrifice Jesus made becomes not only insignificant but actually insulting to Him. Jesus paid our sin debt in full, and all our own righteousness is no better than filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6).
Jesus told His followers to be in the world, to be salt and light for the world (Matthew 5:13-16), yet not to be of the world (John 15:19; 17:11-18). In the dream I failed this command, for I allowed my pride to be hurt and resorted to snide comments when I should have offered Christian love (John 15:17).. Rather than being a good testimony to my Savior’s love, I lashed out in anger, not only at the other patient, but at the chiropractor and staff.
When I took off my coat, I was surprised and uncomfortable about what was underneath. The ornate necklace was clearly inappropriate to wear to a doctor’s appointment, with its many metallic plates like a shield of armor decorated in a peacock design. This suggests that I was insulating my heart with pride that kept me from God (Psalm 10:4; 1 John 2:16) instead of relying on the shield of faith that is a crucial part of the armor of God (Ephesians 6:16).
Instead of the breastplate of Christ’s righteousness (Ephesians 6:14), I was wearing tin foil on my neck and shoulders! What a poor imitation of His holiness, for my own self-righteousness and works can neither protect nor justify me. God knows the heart, which is desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9). The heart will betray and condemn us unless it is covered in Christ’s perfect goodness and purity.
May we beware of false doctrine, cults, and churches that do not honor Jesus Christ, His example and His Word. May we be careful to put on the whole armor of God each day to resist the devil and his strategies (Ephesians 6:11-13), relying on Christ’s completed work on the cross, His perfect holiness, and His resurrection (Galatians 6:14). May we have an attitude adjustment, our mind becoming aligned with God’s perfect will for our life instead of being conformed to the world (Romans 12:2).
May we stand straight for what we believe, allowing the two-edged sword of His Word (Hebrews 4:12) to penetrate between the joints and marrow, the soul and spirit, and to discern the thoughts and intents of our heart! May He create a clean heart (Psalm 51:10) and renew a right spirit within us!
© 2015 Laurie Collett