Every five years or so I have this vivid and recurring dream, tho you'll probably surmise it's more of a nightmare. I learn somehow that I am scheduled for this theocratic ministry school speaking assignment, the Instruction Talk (do they still have those 15 minute drone-athons?).
I become racked with tension knowing that I haven't even prepared for an assignment that is only 30 minutes away. I'm in my casual clothes, no coat and tie, and there's no way I can make it home to change and get back – much less, prepare the material for that keynote address in the school.
I look around the Kingdom Hall to see if I can offload this talk to someone else but no one even looks at me cuz I am disfellowshipped and am being shunned like a leper. This confuses me, the fact that they even want to listen to something I have to say from the podium. It's ironic that I actually want to do good on this challenging obligation, imagining that they may double-disfellowship me if I blunder the task. This will be, for them, reinforcing proof that apostates are evil.
I look again at the outline, a dog-eared sheet of scratchings that I can't begin to decipher, and I want to scream “not fair”, but I know nobody would listen to one disfellowshipped piece of fecal matter – me.
Hey, why am I going through this torment – this anguish, I ask myself. I haven't even believed this crap for the past 38 years, contradictory nonsense which has even become less and less credible as time marches forward. Go ahead, I mumble to self, get out of this joint and nobody will even notice. Go ahead and wake up from this nightmare – and I proceed to do exactly that with an enormous sense of relief.
But, I must confess, for several minutes this morning, there was also this pervasive feeling of guilt because I hadn't honored that bizarre school “assignment”.