Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Here is probably what might be an interesting post (or Not):

I was watching what I found to be a riveting program on PBS (WETA) on Sunday, about a guy who wanted to visit the actual places in the Bible.

He took along with him a very knowledgable archeologist who speaks 5 languages. They started out in Mesopotamia, in Turkey, which they believe where Eden was, went to Syria, Jerusalem, and so on.

They also spent a lot of time in the desert, with Beduins. Our main guy narrator said how amazing it was to be there, because you could feel so alone there while also saying it is impossible to survive there without help from others. The Beduins have an unwritten, steadfast rule that they will feed and bed any traveler for three days with no questions asked and will help them get where they need on the third day.

All during this, there are readings from the Bible, tying in the places with actual text.

The most interesting was the story of Abraham, at least I thought so. I'm no Bible scholar, I did read the little books for children in my Dr.'s office voraciously as a kid, that may be where I learned many of the "stories" plus I'm not a 'heathen' (as my previous Dr. would most likely suggest) and I've attended plenty of Church, Sunday School, even Seminary in high school (I had a very intense religion for those who haven't recognized what it was/is yet). Anyhow, Abraham is interesting because:

ALL the major religions recognize him as a Big Deal, he's in the Bible, Torah and Koran with Muslims taking him as a major and Important Prophet. As the narrator traveled through these ancient and very Muslim areas you could see the faces light up when he mentioned him. Muslims speak his name at least 5 times a day in their prayers.

He is the father of almost all people. He showed a complete faith in God, and proved that he would do ANYthing for him, even at an early age. When he was older and living in the desert, he and his wife had still not had a child (they were in their 70's) and there's the 'side story' of his wife giving him a handmaiden, as was custom, since having a son was sooo important. I think the resulting son was Ismael and he and his mother were eventually sent off by the jealous wife after she had the 'miracle child' Isaac (remember she was over 70 and thought to be barren). Don't worry about Ismael because he went on to found another set of people.

So you may recall the incredible story of God calling on Abraham to take this incredible, precious, miracle son and sacrifice him. (The PBS crew goes to the site where it is believed to have happened).

He was going to do it. I don't have children, but I can comprehend that something like that would rip his own heart out, feelings that don't have to be elaborated on even in the Bible because we know how special Issaac was. But it was the ultimate in proving that Abraham knew the truth: That what God wants is more important than what we want.

He was stopped at the last minute by an angel. He proved complete worthiness for being the Father of Nations.

Abraham's story is often compared even to Heavenly Father sacrificing His Son. Whether you feel comfortable with that or not.

So the narrator guy asks the archeologist friend/co-traveler, "I know you have children, would you do this yourself, if God asked you to?"

He gave a very good answer. He said that he didn't know if he could do it, but that times are different now and God would not ask that of someone now.

What he meant was for one thing that Abraham was living in a much less populated world (in fact, he was a father meant to populate and lead that world), I would say he was Old Testament and a certain Someone changed things forever in the New Testament, and that being the case part of that made sensible reason to test him in that way (no people, one son, it really proved so much).

When the archeologist is making that statement they cut to scenes of the massive amount of people that are now in the world today, just to make the point.

So how is it that God would test a person now, with no sacrifice of their only child? Well, my goodness, I don't think I could name all of the personal tests that human beings can go through. I have not gone through them all myself, but there is everything from physical illnesses simply because, to the trillions of ways we can torture ourselves and maybe even the missteps and bad judgements that got us there.

There are billions of personal tests that exist out there, as each of us are tested on this Earth. I believe that's true, AND for a reason, and None of us escapes our personal tests. None.

Which can be such a binding factor, cannot it not? If we accept that we are each all in our own personal hell, together we are, as the cliche goes: all the same, if not just in that one way.

But more than being personally tested, what does it mean for society or the world even as a whole?

The thing that struck me, and maybe its just my own reaction, is that God took this man, tested him, populated the Earth with him and now they're all here and what would be the test for these masses of people?

As much as I usually dislike people, do not like extended contact with them, even to go to the grocery store or Post Office, it really must have something to do with helping each other.

Yes, this is Tart's 'slant' or what I came up with after watching the whole thing. If you can't help the whole world, I think that God has made it clear that if you do the little things, for your family, or more if that is what you can handle, that is the right thing to do.

If that sounds too overwhelming, and yes, sometimes (okay, A LOT) it is for the Tart, I have been actually reading my FLYLady material that comes endlessly in my email now ( and so much of it is encouragement to take care of yourself. It is NOT selfish to to take care of yourself. If I did not take my medicine, go to the psych appointments, talk to friends to uplife myself, love up a critter (one is snoring on my lap right now), whatever seems like the simplest of things to some people, I would be DEAD. It would be a slow process, maybe, but my disease is incurable and deadly if left unchecked. And whatever your problem(s) is (are), if you do not tend to yourself you cannot do so for others.

I know we're heard that before. Take it to heart. It could never hurt either you or I if I speak this simple truth here on the blog.

I've been searching to know what to do with myself. Oh, yeah, I've got plenty of clutter and stuff to do here in the house, but what am I going to do with my time? I realized that just like when I worked a job, I am starting to again define myself by what I do. And seeing as how it pretty much looks like I don't do much, that hurts me, makes me feel like I am floundering in a sea of 'not knowing what to do itness.' It's a bit embarassing, because I keep imagining other people having some clue for themselves, I even know people who seem to rub it in my face (not many, because I stay away from them) but I don't worry too much about being honest about it on here.

So it goes.

After discussion with Husband and friend yesterday about old jobs, what we're good at, etc. one no brainer idea was I could teach English. AND I know of a non profit program that does so, I volunteered for it years (a decade) ago. And I have a degree in English from a university. And I actually got paid (hah, was that $?) to teach children in a learning center. So, I have done it. I cannot attest to my efficacy or I had the style for it, but I've tried it a few times.

Funny thing, I've avoided being a 'teacher' my whole existence. I wouldn't even consider it for after graduation at the university. So, it may last a whole of 2 days, but I left my name, etc., on a voicemail. We will see.

Did this come full circle, this post? Don't know. Sorry if I did a religious one, but even Tart is touched and sucked into into PBS stories. Just had to share :)


Crazy In Shreveport said...

Ooo, thanks for stopping by! I haven't read your posts yet 'cause I just woke up, but I just wanted to say thanks for leaving a comment! And yes, it is extremely hot outside. I believe it's 97 or so for the high, but with the heat index it feels above 100. I've (Katee, the daughter) been inside all day, as has most of the family, trying to stay cool with ceiling fans and those oscillating fans. It doesn't help much, though; this house is not very well insulated.

Anyway! As I said, I'll come read some stuff when I'm fully awake and thanks for commenting!

mysti said...

I saw that same show! It was very interesting. You are right Abraham is a very important figure in our history. I am glad that I do not have to be tested like he was. I do know though that we are all tested. You are right about that. Great post! Our biggest test is making a choice....

I think teaching english is a wonderful idea! Let us know what happens...

Raine said...

Well thats a noble undertaking. I hope it works out for you. I'm really impressed that you can even think about it. Everybody wants for me to take a class or something, but the depression is here so often, and when it is , its a major effort to just keep up with the yard and do the laundry and feed myself. Heck right now my grass is a foot tall......... anyway good luck with this.