Friday, September 26, 2014

The Beauty of the Sword

From Facebook:
I've been thinking a lot about certain aspects of my life that I have triumphantly gotten over, now moving on to removing the pricks of the horse hairs from the whip of the adversary.  It's not difficult.  Tiresome? Emotional? Sometimes overwhelming? Definitely yes, but not difficult, nor scary for the most part.  So much confirmation has been coming to where the L-rd is moving me (academically and professionally), and the best part is that I no longer feel the necessity to move on my own authority. I just wait for His Mighty Wind to blow, and then I let go; then I drift away.  But not on some dreamy cloud; I drift on a the Chariot of His Word, carrying His sword in my right hand, His shield in my left. Considering - analyzing - where to thrust my sword, where to deflect the words of the evil tongue, and where to forge ahead.

During my own private studies and devotions, I often relate to the physical scene of battle and poetry and philosophy (it's just how I flow with things since I'm very fascinated with the three aforementioned subjects).  It gives me a good frame of reference that I can carry with me effortlessly at home, work, and school.  The Word of G-d should be held like a well fitted sword:

  • It should be effortless to carry with you, becoming an extension of your most useful hand.
  • It should be practiced with daily, keeping your strength, agility, and familiarity consistent.
  • It should be fitted, and not taken as a last ditch weapon, held and crafted with care through your own fire and furnace that the L-rd has provided.
  • It should be kept on your person, never allowing any other to take control.

It's important to know your own strengths and capabilities, not leaving any weak part unguarded. When you wield your sword (the finely tuned, crafted, hammered, and forged Word of G-d in you), it is essential that you know what you're doing.  Using any weapon, to include prayer, can be dangerous; even if the intentions are golden, there is still a sharp end to all swords.  It is essential that you learn how to use your weapon as an expert before entering into battle.  Anyone who is familiar with a physical sword (as opposed to spiritual) will tell you that it is not something anyone can pick up and use effectively on the first time touching it. So, we practice. We practice prayer on a daily basis, reading and learning scripture, some specialize in the weapon of dance, singing, chanting, teaching, or otherwise; these are all to be practiced.

Not only is practice important to effective swordsmanship, but practicing correctly, that we are fitted with His Word, knowing it intimately so that it may be recalled with ease.

Furthermore, we should also know where the biggest threats are (certainly a master swordsman wouldn't get caught up in a life-or-death battle with a novice).  It's important to learn the footwork, the strength, the balance, the terminology in most cases for good communication.  But as one progresses, they learn how to delegate: Where to send the troupe so they're just above evenly matched, allowing them to succeed, without trouble, in battle.

The last note, being one of major importance.  In some classic French literature, it is often noted that handing off your sword to another, whether friend or foe, is handing off any control you have over your own life.  In essence, handing your sword is asking to be slaughtered by it.

Keeping your sword on you assures that we are the only ones wielding it.  When we learn how to use our swords (prayer, dance, music, art, science, etc), we also should learn the rule of thumb - keep you sword on you.  Remain the only one who wields it.  

It is always good to have counsel, learning from others with similar styles of armory, but it is never a smart maneuver to hand over the complete weapon.  Even those who have no intent to harm you may be thrown by the difference in balance, and even if death does not occur, a damaged eye or limb permanently effects the warrior indefinitely, making it a necessity to retreat and retraining.

Shabbat shalom everyone.

Picture, top right:
Picture, bottom left: Taken in my home from my Android.

Monday, September 22, 2014

"An Excerpt from a Dream"

"...My G-d, my G-d, why have You forsaken me?" He said.
And sometimes I wonder what He meant.
"Were You really suffering?
Were You really in pain?"
And when I feel this depressed,
I'm so tempted to let Him slide by.
When I'm this depressed,
The temptation comes
to not even to speak to You at all.

And is often too great.

Yet He gave us words.

"You are G-d, You could have abandoned it all
for a Him to be a shell of man."

Nothing but an empty shell.

Because You weren't contained by the flesh.
But by Your Will to save us.

You heard me crying then,
alone and cold;
crying out for the answers to come,
and when You heard me crying You cried
on my behalf.

"Father, father, why have You Forsaken Me?"

I guess the answers came when You died...