"May Adonai bless you and protect you! May Adonai deal kindly and graciously with you! May Adonai lift up his countenance upon you and grant you peace!" (Torah, Numbers 6:24-26) And Jesus said, "Allow the little children to come unto me. Forbid them not, for of such is the Kingdom of God. Truly, I say unto you, unless you receive the Kingdom of God as a little child does, you shall not enter therein." (New Testament, Mark 10:14-16)

Sojourning at an Oasis Paradise

My purpose for living this life, and for writing this blog, is to understand the faith that links us to God. I wish to explore and discuss the reality at the heart of all of the world's religions. This is an immense task, but I know that God also has faith in us, trusting that we do desire the truth, as well as freedom, love and wisdom. Thus, as always, He meets us halfway. Even as God has given us individual souls, so we must each of us trace out an individual pathway to God. Whether we reside in the cities of orthodox religion, or wend our solitary ways through the barren wastelands, God watches over us and offers us guidance and sustenance for the journey.

Most of what you will see here is the result of extensive personal study, combined with some careful speculation. Occasionally, I may simply offer some Scripture or an inspirational text. I am a wide reader, and the connection of some topics and ideas to matters of faith and religion may not seem immediately obvious, but perhaps I may spell it out in the end... or maybe, you will decide that it was just a tangent. Anyway, I hope that you will find my meanderings to be spiritually enlightening, intellectually stimulating, or at least somewhat entertaining.

In the coming weeks and months, I intend to transcribe a series of essays that I wrote about 20 years ago in the hope that I might get them published. They represent the nucleus of my spiritual life and the focal point around which my wanderings revolve like an electron in an atom. I hope that they might eventually serve as a springboard for discussions about the common spiritual heritage of humanity. May we come together and embrace each other in peace.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Eternal Optimism amidst Despair - an existential choice...

I must assume the stance of the eternal optimist, despite the daily discouragement which tells me that all my hopes and efforts are merely cast into the wind to be scattered like ashes, soon to be forgotten. But if that is the appointed task of a prophet, then who am I to question the Almighty who has recruited me to speak to the heathen masses? The great prophet Isaiah was called to the same task. Isaiah worried that his message would not be received, crying out to God, "How long, O Lord?" He must have teetered on the verge of despair when he heard the answer, "until the land becomes desolate and barren, and the people are scattered into foreign lands...", but he knew that his vocation still demanded this service of him, that he must give the warning even though it would go unheeded.

And yet in another time, the message of impending doom was also given to Jonah, who knew within his heart that there was a chance that the Ninevites might hear his words and repent. Jonah, however, felt the anger which stirred in God's heart, and desired that the judgement foretold to fall upon the unrighteous would actually come to pass. He did not agree with the offer of mercy, which the divine warning implied. But I do.

I do not know which is the scenario that must be played out in this age. The whole world stands in the position of the city of Ninevah, rife with ungodliness and faced with the choice of reform or destruction. There are those who do not have ears to hear, nor eyes to see. They say that the message is too hard, that it is beyond the understanding of simple people, that the prophet must speak in a language that can be grasped by the common man, or else he must not be a prophet after all. I cannot help the style of the words I must use. They are the way of understanding which I was given. I can only hope that God (Baruch haShem) has not decreed that He will stop up the ears, and darken the eyes of this generation, that they should not hear, nor see the judgement that is to come.

I do not claim to be a prophet of the stature of the great Isaiah, nor do I have the certainty of Jonah, that the words of God will inevitably urge those who live in darkness to repent. I am but a small voice, whispering to the winds that blow in the desert, because I must. I have answered the awesome question, "Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?" with a trembling voice, "Here I am. Send me." I too have my faults, to fear that I am unworthy of the encounter with His Holiness, but I can do no less than give whatever service is asked of me. I can only hope that some shall hear, that there will be responses enough to turn away the catastrophes that would come with judgement and wrath. I must assume the stance of the eternal optimist.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful....... optimism is the key ,which if lost we would not be able to open the mysteries which are out therein this world..and in midst of all the wrong things happening ...this flame of hope i think would lead us to divinity

    Mazal Tov for this blog.....


    ( way back in 2005 had read many articles from aish.com wanted to say some thing more but later... )