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So many lawyers, so little time...

"The prospect of hanging focuses the mind wonderfully"--Samuel Johnson

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Location: Louisville, KY, United States

Gastroenterologist, cyclist, cellist, Christian, husband, father, grandfather.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

My once-a-week daily reading

As I limp downstairs, preparing to brew some Starbucks and lecture the cats about their poor language skills, I see my son watching "Fear Factor" on TV. If you've not seen the show before, don't bother. It's one of those insufferable 'reality TV' shows that features greedy camera-hungry morons doing all sorts of unspeakably gross stuff on a dare. The prize for being the one willing to do the most absolutely vile things the longest is $50,000. I imagine that the sum will cover the cost of the "winner"'s therapy for the post traumatic stress syndrome they must surely get from this foolish enterprise.

My own 'fear factor', as with so many of us, is holding up a mirror to our soul and looking carefully and deeply at who we are. I feel safest doing this by reading. If the subject matter gets too uncomfortable, I can set the book down and go play video games or something. I can even 'lose' the book and postpone having to read it for months or even years. From the time I purchased a book on workaholism to the time I actually read it was about eighteen months. I had just forgotten where I put the darn thing.

If there is a book that I should be reading daily but pick up only once a week, then I know that either the book is boring or that it is hitting too close to home. So goes it with my reading of Chip Dodd's The Voice of the Heart. This gentleman speaks the truth and I don't much care for it at times. This week, rather than read it, I've poured my energy into this blog, of all things. I'm not sure that's all bad, but I recognize it as an evasive maneuver.

Let me share with you some passages I found insightful:

We are people with heart pains and heart problems which require heart solutions. Howver, we attempt to solve heart problems with intellect, willpower, and morality, which are no more effective for solving heart problems than a shovel is for cutting a board...

...[W]e begin by feeling our feelings and exposing our hearts, thereby awakening our emotional and spiritual needs, desires, longings, and hope...

There was a time when I thought, and had even been tutored to believe, that feelings are neither good nor bad; they just are. That is not true. All eight feelings are good...It's my behavior or planned behavior that is good or bad; feelings themselves are good--each feeling is a gift from God.

Each feeling has its own specific purpose in helping us live life fully.

Hurt leads to healing.

Loneliness moves us to intimacy.

Sadness expresses value and honor.

Anger hungers for life.

Fear awakens us to danger and begins wisdom.

Shame maintains humility and mercy.

Guilt brings forgiveness.

Gladness proves hope of the heart to be true.

This is all news to me, and news I don't necessarily want to hear.


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