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My radio alarm clock goes off at 5 a.m. With eyes not open yet I sluggishly reach over with my right hand; my fingers groping to find the particular shape and feel of the snooze button to gain another nine minutes of this precious commodity called sleep. Ah, there I have found the button and am rewarded with a modicum of half asleep, half awake slumber that is mediocre at best. As I drift away from the shore of consciousness into a quasi ocean realm of bliss and restfulness, I am no sooner rudely awakened again by my radio alarm clock invading my disorderly jumble of scatterbrain thoughts, leaving vestiges of a mixed media radio program that will soon drown in a sea of forgetfulness. Nine minutes goes by fast, and I will reapeat this cycle over and over again several times until the monotonous repetition of snooze button scenarios transform themselves from a sought after pleasure release into an undesired, unwanted regimen of what seems like an undeserved relentless cycle of discipline and punishment. I can't take it anymore as my virtual snooze button movie comes to a grinding halt and I let my radio alarm clock play on, and on.
It is 6 a.m., Sunday morning now. My eyes are more open than closed and my focus of attention is attuned to the radio program I am half listening to on my radio alarm clock. I think I will get up and get ready to go to early morning worship service at Calvary Chapel. On second thought it is cold outside and there is probably 2 inches or more of wet snow on the ground as I reflect on my foreknowledge of the night befores' live WeatherBug alert that flashed on my computer screen. I remain motionless in bed and again attune my attention to the radio program. I am almost fully awake now and I hear the voice of one whom I have never heard before. As the words of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel penetrate my brain and thoughts in a most compassionate and profoundly spirtually sacred way, I am moved to shedding soft tears filled with my own frailties, inadequacies, and sinfulness. I am 55 years of age now. What have I learned in life about myself, about others, about the world around me, about my own Christian spirituality, about GOD. I am a gentile who should have been born Jewish. My own paradoxical dichotomy is that I believe in the Messiah, Jesus the Christ, Yeshua Hamaschiach. I choose to beleve in Him and cannot give that up. This mornings' worship service for me will be right here in bed as I listen to the radio program, Speaking of Faith in its entirety. As I reflect on what this program means to me, I will have a rare moment of serendipity and realize that no one can put GOD in a box. The moment you do, you not only shortcircuit the very power and presence of GOD out of your life but you also come to a rude awakening that your journey on the spiritual path to discovering and experincing GOD on any level has or will come to a crashing halt and whatever faith you have may become shipwrecked. The end result will be that you will not only shortchange yourself but no one will want to learn or listen to anything you have to share with them about yourself, about others, about the world around you, about your own Christian spirituality but most importantly, about GOD. I will find in Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel a most trusted confidant, friend, and spiritual teacher who's words and wisdom will not only help humble me in a most contrite way in my own practices of prayer and acts of repentance but will also help me transcend my own spiritual learning experience as I come to truly open my heart and mind to continually discovering who GOD is not only from a reading of the sacred scriptures but also from my own existence as a human being by the creative hand of GOD.
Perhaps that book I spied on the bookshelf at work written by a Jew born in Poland back in 1907 is indeed a work written by the profound Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel. Can it be? A book that someone has thrown aside but one which sorely needs to be read. I humbly believe that I am that person who's hands must lay hold of that book tonite when I journey into work. As I finally get out of bed, I am not saddened that I missed worship service this morning because if I had gotten up and shut off my radio alarm clock, I may have never discovered Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel and would have been at a great loss because of my actions but now am the more humbler and and spiritually richer because I discovered him. I am at a loss for words to go on.
I humbly submit my reflection on this mornings' radio program.
I am, BoBByCharles AppleBy