Inspiration and spiritual guidance are like a radio signal. I can fine-tune myself so that I can hear them more clearly. I can adjust my location to get a louder signal. Many of the lessons at church are instructions on how to tune in to those signals and interpret them. I’ve grown to rely on spiritual guidance and connection. It is like a soft radio playing in the background of my day. Then when I experience moments of doubt, I can send a query “Am I on course?” and get a quick response “Yes. Keep going.” Some days I am making hourly or minutely queries. The communication keeps me grounded and I can find peace despite the chaos. I’ve had people express amazement at the quantity of stuff I manage on a daily basis. This is the reason I can. I am never alone and I regularly tap into resources of strength outside myself.
The casinos at Reno are in a spiritual radio shadow. I did not realize it when I first arrived. I only knew that I did not like them. I thought it was the noise, the lights, or the air of quiet desperation which rolled off of some of the gamblers. The absence of a noise is hard to notice, particularly if it is a quiet noise, even more particularly if I am distracted by dozens of new noises. So I did not notice at first. The convention was full of bright, wonderful, good things. Unfortunately I failed to give myself adequate breaks from these wonderful new things. I took care to make sure all of my people took breaks, but I neglected to take any myself. Usually when I do that, I get a message on the guidance circuit. “Slow down Sandra. Take a break.” But I was in radio shadow, a barrier between me and the signal. So I ran myself past my strength, then when I was beyond my capabilities I tried to tap into my spiritual resources. They were not there. I was left to my own strength and I was not strong enough. Fortunately I had surrounded myself with good people and they took care of me. Mostly what they did was make me go to bed. Sleep is restorative of many things.
Upon opening my email box the next morning, I found an email from a friend who does not usually email me. It said all the comforting responses that I’d been reaching for the night before. Signal was bounced off of my friend so that I could receive it while still in shadow. It helped me get through the last day of convention until I could get into my car and drive to a place where I had signal again. The experience was unpleasant in the middle, but is enlightening in retrospect. If I had been aware of the radio shadow, I could have taken steps to boost my reception. Most of those steps would also have provided me with the rest breaks in my days which would have helped prevent me from getting over-stressed in the first place. These are important things for me to know as I attend conventions in the future. Also, I’ll think twice before attending a five day event in a casino hotel again.
Today I went back to church for the first time since coming home from the convention. If a casino is in shadow, then church is like standing on a hill top in clear view of the transmitter. Light and strength poured into me. It washed over my memories of the convention, clearing away the remaining fatigue and worry so that the treasures from the event shine clear and clean. Going to WorldCon was the right thing for us to do, even though it put us in radio shadow for a time, even though it stressed us all, even though we had to drive all night to get the kids back home in time for school. I have a wealth of treasures from the convention which I could not otherwise have gained. The prize is worth the price, but this does not prevent me from planning ahead so that perhaps next time I can arrange to pay less.