I post late today, again, because my computer is still in the repair shop.  I write from a local library.  My apologies.

… I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses.  Now choose life, so that you and your children may live …

Deut 30:19

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A very good and old childhood friend of mine is in a nursing home and he is not in good health.

I remember him as my best childhood friend, a good heart, smart, funny and always good to me – as was his Mom and his family.

Sadly, somewhere along the road he took on a negative view of life.  I feel sorrow for what has come to my dear, good friend.  I still see him as the childhood friend that he was.  This, as you might understand, makes me sad to see what has been lost, what could have been for him and those who loved him.

Yes, each of us has before us the choice of life or death, and from that choice either blessings or curses.

Thomas Merton in his book The New Adam makes the point that we can all teeter between being and nothingness, between spirit and void.  This, for him, is the choice between entity and non-entity.  One might say between being and non-being.  I would say between life and its denial, and between faith and faithlessness, between spiritual existence or the denial of spiritual existence.

The choice of entity, being, life, faith and the spirit are acts of hope.  They bestow hope on those who chose each.  For those who do not, life presents as without hope.  Such a choice makes life harder than it is or has to be.

Godlessness has a cost that none can endure.  For them death precedes death.

Psychiatrist James F. Masterson, M.D. would say to us as to the choice of life or death that this is the choice between the false or true self and that the later comes by our working at life, coming to examine who we are in our biography, in all life’s details and trials.  He would also say that a failure to examine one’s life is a denial of life and an election of life as a false self – a life of imbalance or illness.

It is interesting that the Old Testament can give us what a modern mystic tells us and what a modern doctor tells us.

There is wisdom in what comes in religious narrative – and it is not less painless to ignore the admonition to choose life now than it has been for all these many centuries.  Truth, you see, is truth … and it endures.

Life or death.  Blessings or curse.  This is a fundamental choice that must be made; that is made in every life.

Those who do not choose life and blessings default to their opposite.  To not choose is to choose.

Shalom.

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