I saw the musical "Godspell" for the first time when I was in high school, and quite frankly I was just not impressed with it. It was performed by a professional troupe in an enormous building where basketball was usually played, and I was sitting so high above the stage that it was impossible to see much of anything other than bright splashes of color from the performers' wild and outlandish costumes. The poor acoustics in the building made it difficult to hear all that was being said, and furthermore I wasn't sure that I wanted to hear what was being said, as the whole thing just seemed to be very..."disrespectful." I could understand why some Christian groups were against the production for that reason, but at the same time I strongly disagreed with fundamentalists who labeled it "satanic"--that interpretation seemed to be unreasonably harsh and paranoid.

I saw it again at a cozy dinner theater near Richmond some months later, and that time I loved it! Yes, it was still raucous and unconventional, but it was also energetic and upbeat, with some really beautiful songs. As I watched it that time, I realized that it could be viewed as a very unstuffy, modern, and somewhat "loose" interpretation of the Gospel which might serve to attract some people who otherwise wouldn't consider attending anything remotely "Christian." You never know when or how Spirit will use a situation to touch someone's heart and mind....

Anyhow, I liked it enough after seeing it that time to purchase a record of the soundtrack, and one day in the late 80s I was listening to the album as I did some housework. As I sang along to some of the songs, a "thought flash" popped in that said, simply, "Godspell in April."

What is a "thought flash"? It's a little difficult to explain, but it's when a seemingly "external" thought suddenly enters your consciousness. By "external," I mean that the thought appears to come from ..."outside"... rather than from within your own mind. The "thought" arrives intact in an instantaneous, non-verbal "flash," but it takes a second to essentially convert it into "words" and understand what is being "said."

(I later learned that my "thought flashes" were similar to what author Robert Monroe described as a "rote"--a packet of non-verbal thought that the "receiver" then has to "open." While our descriptions differed a little, the mechanics of the process seemed to be the same.)

But having received this particular "flash"--"Godspell in April"--I wasn't sure what, if anything, I should "do" about it. The more I thought about it, however, I wondered if it was some sort of "directive" to try to put together a production of Godspell in my community. I had a bit of a background in theater--and the idea certainly appealed to me--but there just didn't seem to be time to coordinate something like this for an April production date!

Nonetheless, I decided to pursue it as a possibility, and I called, first, a local minister to enlist his help. He was open to the idea and said we could use his church for the performance, but he also questioned the timing--April was just too soon to coordinate a full production.

I didn't try to justify or explain why I felt it should be done in April, but based on his initial approval, I then wrote to my college drama professor to find out about acquiring scripts, whether or not we'd have to pay royalties, etc. It took a couple of weeks for the exchange of letters to take place, and that made the possibility of being able to do something in April even less likely....

A few days later I got a call from the minister who asked if I'd seen the morning newspaper. When I said I hadn't, he told me that he'd just read that the local university's theater group would be doing a performance of Godspell--in April! Since it was already going to be offered in the community, he said it didn't seem necessary for us to do a production, too. I quickly agreed, and thanked him for all of his help.

I laughed as I hung up, realizing that the "thought flash" had been entirely accurate, even though my interpretation of it certainly hadn't been!

"Thought flashes" were nothing new for me--I can't remember when I've not had random and interesting ideas just pop in from out of nowhere. These types of flashes are different, somehow, from the intuitive insights that seem to come from within--and I've had those, too. While it's difficult to pinpoint "why" or to describe "how" they seem distinctly different, at times I've been amazed and amused at the humor that they've contained, and other times at the guidance and answers that they've provided.

Obviously much caution must be exercised when one follows any type of perceived "directive," because regardless of the "source" (and I've always thought in terms of guardian angels or spirit guides) we may not make the correct interpretation. As all information is filtered through our human personalities and analytical conscious minds, the potential exists for significant--and possibly dangerous--misinterpretations....

Fortunately, there were no negative consequences as a result of my misinterpretation of this "flash," and unlike the T-shirts and bumper stickers that say, "I do whatever the voices in my head tell me to do," (though these "flashes" aren't "voices"), I'm still pretty cautious regarding how seriously I take anything that seems to come from outside of myself.

On the positive side, however, my misinterpretation put me in closer touch with a minister for whom I had great respect, reestablished communication with one of my favorite professors, and--by its accuracy--allowed me to marvel at and catch a glimpse of another part of the "elephant."

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