It was one of the most graphic dreams I remember ever having. I’m not saying vivid, necessarily, I’m talking sexually graphic. A nothing-held-back, everything-out-there, XXX-rated dream.
I don’t know who this girl was; my mind just made her up–in fact, that was the point. She was a perfect stranger, yet for some reason (probably the fact it was a dream), she was into me. REALLY into me. I can’t remember if she said anything or I just had that sort of “dream omniscience,” where you just know all that’s going on because it’s in your head, anyway.
I remember there were only a few words, a rush of desire, and suddenly, everything was happening. But suddenly, I woke up. The mystery girl was gone. My wife, however, was still in bed next to me.
At first, I thought little of it. You can’t control dreams, and I hadn’t been filling my eyes with other women or anything else that would influence a dream like that. My wife and I weren’t having any marital troubles. Besides, like I said, I didn’t know this girl. It was just the random dream of a 24-year-old male, nothing deliberate or intentional. So, I decided to ignore it.
Since I was awake, I decided to use the bathroom, and while I was there, it happened. A little voice began to slither in my ear.
Don’t you remember the bliss of the mystery? Don’t you remember the rush of the unknown? When you didn’t know the girl, your mind had no boundaries. She could be anything, and every single touch, every LOOK was scintillating because you never know what would happen next.
When’s the last time you had that? When’s the last time you got a carnal high like you did in that dream, just by being in the same room as a girl? It’s been a while, hasn’t it? That’s the problem: when you know the girl that well, there’s no more mystery to explore. You know what will happen. Boring, lame, uninteresting.
Don’t you remember the ecstasy of adventure?
When I was recovering from an addiction to pornography, I learned that I, personally, am most vulnerable when I’m sleepy. It’s like my inhibitions have already gone to bed, but the rest of my mind hasn’t. That’s why I hate waking up in the middle of the night; my mind wants to go places I don’t want it to. This was one of those night.
I did remember the erotic bliss of the mystery. Whether she was airbrushed, pixilated, or real, the unknown gave me a high–like some great adventure in which I could partake (and where I was the hero).
As I lingered at the sink, I thought about my wife back in bed. We’ve only been married for two years, but it was true: the mystery had shattered. When you share a bed, you learn a lot really fast. Somewhere along the line, the adventure dies because everything is already mapped out, charted, and explored.
And that’s where the Devil went wrong.
You’re right, I said, the mystery is all but gone. All I have now is a land that has been thoroughly explored. There are few mountains I haven’t climbed, few rivers I have not swam, and few trees I have not named. I know this territory all too well.
And it is good.
I know there are countless trees of ripe, delicious fruits. I know there are rushing streams of white rapids and still pools of liquid glass. I know there are lush, grassy knolls and harsh, jagged rocks. I know there are mines of pure gold, diamonds, and sapphires. I know where the antelope play and where the lions prowl. I know the tall sycamore, which, if climbed, yields a breathtaking view of the deep greens of the valleys, the rich blue of the streams, and the soft purple of the mountains.
If I ever want an adventure, all I have to do is look at my well-marked map and pick a direction. The mountains are still rocky. The rivers are still rapid. The trees are still tall. The beasts still walk this land. And there will always be someone trying to invade it.
So yes, I remember the divine mystery of uncharted wilderness. But now I know the everlasting joy of intimacy. Everything I’ve found has given me pleasure and delight, and it still does. I no longer have to wonder; I know.
I returned to bed in high spirits. The Devil had tried to remind me what I’d given up, but God had reminded me of the reason why I gave it up. And as I quietly slid back under the sheets, I lingered on my wife’s sleeping form and remembered the other half of that reason:
She knew my land, too.