Judge Cycle 3

Posted: January 12, 2019 by Ty in Brunch & Bible
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When the student is ready, the teacher will be revealed.

-Ancient Proverb

I believe I was pastoring for youth and children at Campbell-Stone United when we did an exploration of women in the Bible, it was the first time the kick-ass story of Deborah emerged onto my radar. For the uninitiated, think of her as Wonder Woman in the Hebrew Bible. It was the cycle time of screwing up again, when the nation needed help. She was a prophetess that is one that speaks the truth. A prophetess, like a prophet, points out what is unjust in the society, and what needs to happen to get back on track for the community. For an individual it can be akin to a psychotherapist or a psychiatrist or a medical doctor pointing out what needs to change for a healthier you, and then laying out the path (Judges 4).

Nothing like a tent peg path:

21 But Jael the wife of Heber took a tent peg, and took a hammer in her hand. Then she went softly to him and drove the peg into his temple until it went down into the ground while he was lying fast asleep from weariness. So he died.

-Judges 4:21 (English Standard Version)

It is truly a time in the stories of Judges that shows the equality of creation. For reflection, one should see that the patriarchal misogyny that continues to rear its head in religion is contrary to the divine plan. To ensure such, there is a Psalm performed of the story, for those keeping track this would hover around the 152 Psalm in the Hebrew Bible, the second outside of Psalms.

Judges 5:

Then sang Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoam on that day:

“That the leaders took the lead in Israel,
that the people offered themselves willingly,
bless the Lord!

“Hear, O kings; give ear, O princes;
to the Lord I will sing;
I will make melody to the Lord, the God of Israel.

“Lord, when you went out from Seir,
when you marched from the region of Edom,
the earth trembled
and the heavens dropped,
yes, the clouds dropped water.
The mountains quaked before the Lord,
even Sinai before the Lord,[a] the God of Israel.

“In the days of Shamgar, son of Anath,
in the days of Jael, the highways were abandoned,
and travelers kept to the byways.
The villagers ceased in Israel;
they ceased to be until I arose;
I, Deborah, arose as a mother in Israel.
When new gods were chosen,
then war was in the gates.
Was shield or spear to be seen
among forty thousand in Israel?
My heart goes out to the commanders of Israel
who offered themselves willingly among the people.
Bless the Lord.

10 “Tell of it, you who ride on white donkeys,
you who sit on rich carpets[b]
and you who walk by the way.
11 To the sound of musicians[c] at the watering places,
there they repeat the righteous triumphs of the Lord,
the righteous triumphs of his villagers in Israel.

“Then down to the gates marched the people of the Lord.

12 “Awake, awake, Deborah!
Awake, awake, break out in a song!
Arise, Barak, lead away your captives,
O son of Abinoam.
13 Then down marched the remnant of the noble;
the people of the Lord marched down for me against the mighty.
14 From Ephraim their root they marched down into the valley,[d]
following you, Benjamin, with your kinsmen;
from Machir marched down the commanders,
and from Zebulun those who bear the lieutenant’s[e] staff;
15 the princes of Issachar came with Deborah,
and Issachar faithful to Barak;
into the valley they rushed at his heels.
Among the clans of Reuben
there were great searchings of heart.
16 Why did you sit still among the sheepfolds,
to hear the whistling for the flocks?
Among the clans of Reuben
there were great searchings of heart.
17 Gilead stayed beyond the Jordan;
and Dan, why did he stay with the ships?
Asher sat still at the coast of the sea,
staying by his landings.
18 Zebulun is a people who risked their lives to the death;
Naphtali, too, on the heights of the field.

19 “The kings came, they fought;
then fought the kings of Canaan,
at Taanach, by the waters of Megiddo;
they got no spoils of silver.
20 From heaven the stars fought,
from their courses they fought against Sisera.
21 The torrent Kishon swept them away,
the ancient torrent, the torrent Kishon.
March on, my soul, with might!

22 “Then loud beat the horses’ hoofs
with the galloping, galloping of his steeds.

23 “Curse Meroz, says the angel of the Lord,
curse its inhabitants thoroughly,
because they did not come to the help of the Lord,
to the help of the Lord against the mighty.

24 “Most blessed of women be Jael,
the wife of Heber the Kenite,
of tent-dwelling women most blessed.
25 He asked for water and she gave him milk;
she brought him curds in a noble’s bowl.
26 She sent her hand to the tent peg
and her right hand to the workmen’s mallet;
she struck Sisera;
she crushed his head;
she shattered and pierced his temple.
27 Between her feet
he sank, he fell, he lay still;
between her feet
he sank, he fell;
where he sank,
there he fell—dead.

28 “Out of the window she peered,
the mother of Sisera wailed through the lattice:
‘Why is his chariot so long in coming?
Why tarry the hoofbeats of his chariots?’
29 Her wisest princesses answer,
indeed, she answers herself,
30 ‘Have they not found and divided the spoil?—
A womb or two for every man;
spoil of dyed materials for Sisera,
spoil of dyed materials embroidered,
two pieces of dyed work embroidered for the neck as spoil?’

31 “So may all your enemies perish, O Lord!
But your friends be like the sun as he rises in his might.”

And the land had rest for forty years.

A beautiful song that points out the peace that comes for another generational cycle. What is interesting though, that the story and song of Deborah shows is that we must always be aware that aid, healing, and new life can come from unexpected places. No one would have believed that Jael would be the hero to turn the tide, or that Deborah would know what she is doing.

But here we are, in our modern world still struggling with a faux duality, a misuse that only certain folks can facilitate healing or guidance or leadership. The ancient stories remind us that gifts will emerge in the ones that need to have them. The right people at the right moment will be there, but we need to be able to recognize it. For our own journey, we need to be willing.

Need to be willing to risk. To step outside of our normal role, and to be…

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It is amazing how the stories in Judges can sooo illustrate Gremlin-Saboteur work. It is the challenge as I have written about many times, rooting into yourself for that voice (s) that are tearing you down. Acting as the invaders in the land that chapter 3 opens with:

Now these are the nations that the Lord left, to test Israel by them, that is, all in Israel who had not experienced all the wars in Canaan. It was only in order that the generations of the people of Israel might know war, to teach war to those who had not known it before. These are the nations: the five lords of the Philistines and all the Canaanites and the Sidonians and the Hivites who lived on Mount Lebanon, from Mount Baal-hermon as far as Lebo-hamath. They were for the testing of Israel, to know whether Israel would obey the commandments of the Lord, which he commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses. So the people of Israel lived among the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. And their daughters they took to themselves for wives, and their own daughters they gave to their sons, and they served their gods

-Judges 3:1-6 (English Standard Version)

One can descend into an argument around the veracity and historicity of the stories in Judges. But when one is looking at post-exilic or during exile time, these ancient stories are there to reassure those in bondage that there is a way out. A pathway back to the Holy, it uses war language, because if they are historic it probably was war, if not, it is a metaphor that one understood in exorcising demons from yourself. The battle. The fact that your God is superior to the other God because, well, your nation one the war.

I point this as a story that speaks to the internal battle for wholeness and authenticity, because the enemy (demon) is named. Just like when we deny the Gremlin within us, we name it, we create its image, we write out the lies that it tells that we believed or did keep us safe, a thanksgiving for that period (an honouring and an honesty about what was truly happening); then making the decision to win the war, destroy the Gremlin.

In a way, in the short term work, what is seen is a life coach in the form of the short judge exercises in getting Israel back on track to their whole beings:

7 And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. They forgot the Lord their God and served the Baals and the Asheroth.Therefore the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of Cushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia. And the people of Israel served Cushan-rishathaim eight years. But when the people of Israel cried out to the Lord, the Lord raised up a deliverer for the people of Israel, who saved them, Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother. 10 The Spirit of the Lord was upon him, and he judged Israel. He went out to war, and the Lord gave Cushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand. And his hand prevailed over Cushan-rishathaim. 11 So the land had rest forty years. Then Othniel the son of Kenaz died.

-Judges 3:7-11 (English Standard Version)

The coach was in. The coach was asking the powerful questions to seek out the true self. In this story, it is a battle to root out and destroy that which was holding back. In a coaching session, the powerful questions will help you drill down away from fluff, to what your actual goal may be, what you are actually seeking, or rooting out the Gremlin that is holding you back.

I also love, how it points out that there is a time when the work is happening, and there is peace. Peace does not always mean static, it means we are doing what is working for that time to keep us healthy and moving forward, but life is a long game and new experiences bring new challenges. Those new challenges bring new supports into our lives:

 And the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done what was evil in the sight of the Lord. 13 He gathered to himself the Ammonites and the Amalekites, and went and defeated Israel. And they took possession of the city of palms. 14 And the people of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years.

15 Then the people of Israel cried out to the Lord, and the Lord raised up for them a deliverer, Ehud, the son of Gera, the Benjaminite, a left-handed man. The people of Israel sent tribute by him to Eglon the king of Moab. 16 And Ehud made for himself a sword with two edges, a cubit[a]in length, and he bound it on his right thigh under his clothes. 17 And he presented the tribute to Eglon king of Moab. Now Eglon was a very fat man. 18 And when Ehud had finished presenting the tribute, he sent away the people who carried the tribute. 19 But he himself turned back at the idols near Gilgal and said, “I have a secret message for you, O king.” And he commanded, “Silence.” And all his attendants went out from his presence. 20 And Ehud came to him as he was sitting alone in his cool roof chamber. And Ehud said, “I have a message from God for you.” And he arose from his seat. 21 And Ehud reached with his left hand, took the sword from his right thigh, and thrust it into his belly. 22 And the hilt also went in after the blade, and the fat closed over the blade, for he did not pull the sword out of his belly; and the dung came out. 23 Then Ehud went out into the porch[b] and closed the doors of the roof chamber behind him and locked them.

24 When he had gone, the servants came, and when they saw that the doors of the roof chamber were locked, they thought, “Surely he is relieving himself in the closet of the cool chamber.” 25 And they waited till they were embarrassed. But when he still did not open the doors of the roof chamber, they took the key and opened them, and there lay their lord dead on the floor.

26 Ehud escaped while they delayed, and he passed beyond the idols and escaped to Seirah. 27 When he arrived, he sounded the trumpet in the hill country of Ephraim. Then the people of Israel went down with him from the hill country, and he was their leader. 28 And he said to them, “Follow after me, for the Lord has given your enemies the Moabites into your hand.” So they went down after him and seized the fords of the Jordan against the Moabites and did not allow anyone to pass over.29 And they killed at that time about 10,000 of the Moabites, all strong, able-bodied men; not a man escaped. 30 So Moab was subdued that day under the hand of Israel. And the land had rest for eighty years

-Judges 3:12-30 (English Standard Version)

Survival. Gold. Riches. Prestige. Fame. These are all stumbling blocks that can take one out of affirming their true self, and into the realm of denial. It can create cycles of self-harm, perhaps addiction, or other behaviours or illnesses that mask one’s descent into the shadow self. When our body is out of tune with our whole being, when we are living in dissonance between our values, physical life, emotional life, and spiritual being it has huge effect upon us. It creates a bad holistic system as we are disjointed, it is like driving a high way in a Red River Cart, or perhaps a vehicle unbalanced with 2 of 4 tires being spare donuts.

Has there been a time when you know you are not being true to yourself?

This is the story of Ehud’s emerging as a judge. Israel was not being true to who they were. They had sold out to what was the here and now. The short cut to who they believed they were meant to be, not wanting to do the work to ensure all came along healthily and were cared for. The fast pace of change that loses many along the way, causes pain, and in the end it may look glorious, but it is like a Jenga tower balancing on the precipice of the bottom centre block.

Ehud is the judge of deep soul work or psychotherapy for the person, the one that helps you delve back into your true valued self and deal with the B.S. that has torn you down.

After him was Shamgar the son of Anath, who killed 600 of the Philistines with an oxgoad, and he also saved Israel.

-Judges 3:31 (English Standard Version)

In case you need a refresher in relapse of the old life that was tearing you apart, here comes the sponsor Judge Shamgar, to aid you in cleaning up the new soul sludge.

This is the first three judges (life coaches, spiritual directors, sponsors, therapists) in discovering and renewing the authentic you when you slip back into the gremlin voices.

The stories of Judges remind us, that life is a process. It is about the process not perfection, for when we do reach the goal, we need to still believe in who we are.

 

Judge Cycle 1

Posted: January 10, 2019 by Ty in Brunch & Bible
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As the Book of Joshua closes with the death of Moses successor, the people enter the land of Canaan. And what is dis you ask? The land of Canaan is cursed. It is believed Ham, son of Noah, went there and married a descendant of Cain. Okay, fancy old school names so who are Ham and Cain? Cain was the first murderer, marked to walk the earth and receive no harm forevermore. Ham, he was Noah’s second born, and after the flood got his Dad drunk and anally raped him, and was thusly cursed. An aside, as it was believed that ancients who lived in Africa were of darker skin (surprise!) texts such as these cursing in Judges and the Canaan were and have been used to shore up religious beliefs for such things as slavery, apartheid and white supremacy, which is simply bad theology.

The book of Judges continues the blood shed in the Hebrew Bible. It is tales of war, conquest, showing one’s God as supreme to another nations God. It mean that there was barbaric actions (though today, we simply use better more destructive-deadly technology and our “gods” may be ethereal or ideological). So yes, there was this genocidal type writing as nations fell, and were subsumed (Judges 1). It was why the original Exodus 10 Commandments stated no God before me, but then in this Deuteronic history it had shifted to No God but me.

The narrative shifts from battle cries of victory to sinking into the abyss (Judges 2:1-16). They have been brought through the dark times of slavery (one can read it metaphysically as addiction, illness, whatever separates you from your true self as the people of Israel were under the Pharaoh). They have gone through the wilderness journey to purge away that which separates them from God, with God going with them and providing daily. A great story, and allegory for our own transfiguration journey. They have come to the cusp of claiming their true selves, or as the ancient stories stated it, the Promised Land, redeeming the false cursed and affirming the divine within if you will.

And the response is a relapse.

Back to affirming the false self.

Recycling that which separates from our true nature, but is comfortable, letting the gremlins reign.

Then the Lord raised up judges, who saved them out of the hand of those who plundered them.

-Judges 2:16 (English Standard Version)

We have created our own Baals in this life. The complete and utter inept concept of independence. That what I do only effects me, and I have all I need to work myself out of anything. What bullocks. We are an interdependent cosmos. An interconnected ecology and biosphere. Yes, we are also an interdependent species that needs people to play parts to ensure all aspects of society flourish.That is as we enter into our true self, our whole self, living our authentic vocational calling…then we are resonating properly with our divine self.

The judges were there to guide a nation. Few will come to speak into our lives in the same way to aid us in getting back to our true nature (Judges 2:16-23).  It is a cycle, but is that not the cycle of the pilgrimage to the heart of the sacred for ourselves? Each life milestone we have those mentors that guide us through? We have those that speak into our lives to aid us in going through this recycle to go deeper into the authentic us? Each step being something new is born?

Who are the judges in your own life?

Those that aid you into a new you.


Judges, part of the Deuteronic history of books within the Hebrew Bible includes Joshua, 1 & 2 Samuel, Deuteronomy and was first put to papyrus around 550 CE during the Babylonian Exile. It is more than just the (in)famous tale of Samson and his hair, but includes many other judges from Deborah (ah the war hammer) to Gideon. The stories cover the time period between the end of Joshua and the establishment of the Kingdom in the books of Samuel. It, as with other Deuteronic history stories, ties the hearer back to the covenant made with the Holy Mystery. Now, the modern reader has to remember that Deuteronomy was “discovered” in the newly re-established temple under Ezra, it was a refined look of the whole Torah (Pentateuch) and gave us the redacted 10 Commandments that shifted the No God command from no God before me, to NO GOD but me.

Judges is in this vein reminding the hearer of times when the covenant was discarded. Like a 1930’s pulp magazine or a Harlequin Romance Novel, there is a plug and play formula for these stories:

Related imageIt is not a unique cycle in the course of lifespan development. Think of our own journey in adolescences with our parents or mentors. Those times we would attempt to step out of the protection of the safe place for us (for some the home, others had other places).

The book of Judges breaks it down to sin language, but truly it is attempting assertion of self, and knowing what options are available. In the world of problem solving I would call it a POP strategy. The people come to a crossroads/problem. They look at options, they pick an option, and move forward with the Plan (P.O.P=Problem, Option, Plan). What happens though is that the option chosen is not healthy for the individual or the community, they run back to the source and plead for help in the conundrum, a judge rises and aids the solution. Metaphysically this is the interior castle moments when we know we have pooched it, we turn back to the divine within, with help of our mentors (like in adolescence when you would work out a P.O.P. unofficially with a parent or trusted adult). In our teens, my brother and I termed it the walk of shame, going back to Dad or Mum after our plan blew up in our faces, to let them know they were right and needing to get back on track. That is the judge (not like the Judges Moses commissioned, rather they are spirit guides or in some cases, like super heroes).

The new plan is laid out, followed through, and the nation/person is back on track.

In the point in time in history the stories were used to show how to avoid another exile, and what had led to exiles. For a personal reflection as we journey through it will be looking at our own times of disconnect and exile. Those times when we have fed the wrong wolf inside us, and the darkness is a bit stronger, what this means for our own personal judges being raised up to guide us back into our light and true self.

For the P.O.P. stratagem awaits…what are your options?

613-Through the Looking Glass

Posted: January 9, 2019 by Ty in Spirituality
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613 is my number, what is yours?

It is amazing the conversations one has as a parent, and then the journey it causes you to reflect upon. Before May 2016 sitting in an ER I never thought I would be here. See, growing up and throughout my life I admit to being socially awkward (to be kind), but there was something that always was wonderful, my mind. When it came to numbers it was something like Charlie on Numbers that the solution would come to me, but has no real idea what took me from problem to solution. My everyday mind would be able to focus on 3 or 4 tasks in front of me, while crunching solutions and dreams/plans for multitudes of other things (one of the main reasons I never took up this thing called driving).

It is the blessing of this mind, with my heart for changing the world that allowed the drive in school (and the multiple degrees earned and given honourary); building programs; running for office; editing and writing; book publishing; teaching; outreach work; mentoring; life coaching; spiritual direction; public speaking; pulpit supply; and the list can go on in my short life I had packed in multiple life times. Standing in the darkness and walking with those in the midst so they could come into their light. Discover who they truly were; teaching and facilitating others in discovering their passions and ways to make a living at it. I believe my life showed that you can chase dreams, and still hold true to your core values, not having to surrender who you are to make a difference in this world. At one point I looked back on my time in ministry and realized I had the opportunity to speak into nearly 1,000 young lives for the better.

But it started to shift in May and then October 2016 in the ER with weird brain activity, memory loss, chest pains and left-hand tremors. But I was told I was normal and fine, so carry on at discharge, after a day or two at home back at it. Back at the work of walking with folks to create home and community.

In the later part of 2017 as summer approached, professional and personal griefs/stressors were there. Waying on one’s spirit. I felt tired, and my brain was foggy. Like I had taught so many though, back to the daily practice, self-care, seeking out those who can aid you in debrief and carry forward, keep yourself healthy. And why wouldn’t I be tired? It was a phase, been there done that. My vocabulary, and understanding of some basic concepts began to fail me. Again, I looked back on what was happening with those in personal and professional life passing away, assumed it was a grief cycle (my son’s friend’s were passing away, always hard).

But then my birthday hit and the game changed.

Seizures (Grand Mal and absent), multiple in rapid succession. Lost memory and time. Not only in the now, but lost memories, I could not recall things. It kept happening, I became the ER’s daily flier if you will…and oh so cold, my body had gone hypothermic, in retrospect to protect my heart. Medical science couldn’t answer the question. Weird things being vomited out. Tests were toss ups.

But when the seizures hit, and I would come back so would the pain. The life of being a light in the darkness, but only the darkness would come back. Decades of being in the pain, looking back and having my mind lie to me saying that I was a failure, had not made a difference. My memories that would reboot, it was like an old DOS computer with dust on the floppy, the self-care wouldn’t come with it. My healing and growing of scar tissue was gone, it was rapid succession of the pain that cut to the very core of who I was. I tried to work through, my agency was wonderful in their support.

But I was not me. My beautiful gift, my mind, was failing. Things that I knew by rote, and was simple neurological muscle memory were gone, fog was constant, stabbing pains, tremoring arm, in ability to sleep, hypothermic and I won’t share how when I went down finally for health reasons the days of weird chemicals I had been exposed to expelling from my body (oh and the constant daily seizures, at one point almost 40 a day). Tests of the blood, body and brain, but the flashbacks persisted.

It wasn’t something that was expected. I had learned to take care of myself, to rely on supports, to keep healthy, to use vacation time and to chase passions. This was against the narrative. But it persisted. Advancing from basic neurology to complex, in hospital observational stays, and all the epileptoligists/neurologists looking at my brain scans and medical files to reach a decision on what was happening. Finally, in the last month or two having confirmed diagnosis, PTSD-PNES, and now due to the Third Way boondoggle that was Klein’s legacy, I wait for the aid to cure and move forward. In the meantime the seizures are not epileptic but bring all the fears of those types of seizures with them everything from falls to sudden death, with no medications that can be prescribed to control them.

With each seizure my number reminds me of where I have walked. 613 that is 613 in my life of family, friends, children, parishners, and clients I was unable to do more than journey with to the final transition to the next life. Most I was present for last rites or the passing or performed the celebration of life, if not all of it. In the travels I continue to use that which some may say is fruitless. Yet I persist. I pay the price for the persistence to keep going, I am not as good as I used to be, not even close…but I keep trying, working on myself while I wait.

This time I feel like Alice having stepped through the looking glass, or Kirk into the Mirror Universe. I have seen what the darkness unchecked has done to my soul. I know what the light is. I struggle to believe in myself once more for with each reboot I still have to work through the lies my heart tells me that I am a failure, for even if it is a simple spark I need to hold to it…that I make a difference simply by being.

What is your number?


Gary Hobson is the man with the cat he didn’t want, and the paper that is a curse or a blessing depending on your point of view. He is a man in a midst of a transition having quit his job as a trader, and his wife having divorced him (to marry his boss no less). He has his angel and devil caricatures, Marissa, his angel who gets him to think of the altruistic ways to use the paper, and Chuck, who seeks out what is needed for personal gain. But what is this paper?

Image result for early edition tv showCat: MEOwwwwwwwww.

[sound of paper landing on floor outside door]

Image result for early edition tv showIt is tomorrow’s news today.

What would you do?

Would you use it to build wealth? (Chuck’s P.O.V.)

To save lives? (Marissa’s P.O.V.)

 

Things have a way of working out in this life. One way or another, you usually get what you need. Those who need to be remembered, they get a moment; those who need to be heard, they get a voice. There’s no way of knowing how it’s all going to fall into place mind you, but trust me, it does. Justice may be blind, but that doesn’t mean there’s no one looking out for you.

-Gary Hobson, main character.

Hobson, after the philosophical-ethical dilemma after Hobson’s Choice, where you are given a bit of information to choose to make a little-big difference or remain safe. That is the premise of each episode, from Presidential Assassinations to medical neglect on Children to jury duty. The list goes on, but eventually there is a meow and a thump at the door for the mysterious sun-times paper for the next day appears, and he has 24 hours to change a headline.

They say things happen for a reason, but that reason may not always be clear. In time, with faith, the meaning may emerge. What was, what is, what shall be. Pieces of a puzzle, falling into place.

-Chuck Fishman

A fun show from 1996-2000 that made one ponder and think what you would do.

And in the course of the adventures it is seen that even, begrudgingly, Chuck helps. So what is your Hobson choice in life, it may not be tomorrow’s news today, but each and every day we are given information to make choices. Do we make choices that make the most good for us and our neighbour, or only for our own bank account?

 [voice over] It’s easy to be cynical. Especially today, when it looks like all our heroes are crooks, our role models frauds. Every now and again, however, when you least expect it, the real thing comes along: someone who can find the heart inside the cynic and give those who hold nothing sacred something to believe in. It’s not always easy telling the good from the bad, even if you do get tomorrow’s paper today. Why, is why. Sometimes, to find the answers, you have to look in your heart.

-Chuck Fishman

Cynicism is the easy choice. It can take more to look deeper, ask harder questions, and seek out what is right.

What is right inside your heart…


It can be an unconventional practice. We used it in CALM class, last century, and in a few Bible College classes, the letter to future self writing back to who you are now. What would they say? What does your future life look like? It is a ploy in goal setting, and laying out a path.

Related image

From the live version of the song.

But what if we reversed the letter course in the process of discernment. Brad Paisley in my mind at times can be a modern day prophet in his music (I am sure Sr. Margaret appreciates the idea of music for spirituality as she always said singing was like praying twice). Paisley’s song Letter to Me at 17 (watch here) creates a different feeling.

It becomes a reflection on who made you who you are. The journey is more important than the destination. At many decades on you can see the pathways, the missed opportunities, the joys and the sorrows, and the making it through. It can be cathartic, it can be healing, it shows who you are in the journey.

Looking back on your life, what would you write to who you were back in high school? Back in College?

What letter rests on your soul?

To the emergent you.