"If you know these things, happy are you when you do them. Continue in the light of my word. Only then are you truly my disciples."
"It is the one terrible heresy of the church, that it has always been presenting something else than obedience as faith in Christ."--George MacDonald
Buried Treasures, by Rabbi Daniel Lapin, describes the beauty and power of the Hebrew language for shaping all of human life. In its enduring structure and ordered nuance lie secrets to the very heart of God.
As an example, unlike palindromes in most languages, i.e., words or sentences that mean the same thing forward or backwards, often Hebrew words spelled backwards have opposite, or curiously connected meanings, a connection that amplifies the lessons of the text.
A lesson that stood out to me was the word for dream: CHaLoM. Spelled backward, MeLaCH, it means "salt". Salt, as a mineral, is one of the four basic elements of life and when used to describe the character of a follower of Jesus means one who is grounded and effectual. By contrast, dreams, like words, can only impact life when they are brought out of the ethereal or theoretical, and acted upon.
In much the same way the Words of Jesus must be taken out of theoretical discussions in "bible studies" and acted upon with vigor and alacrity for them to have the effectual impact on our lives and the lives of those we are strategically appointed to impact.
a·lac·ri·ty [uh-lak-ri-tee] (noun)
promptness, or willingness;
Lapin points out that an ancient tradition "reports a very curious fact related to dreams. It observes that if, upon rising in the morning, a person cannot remember his dreams, he should be considered wicked. Hitting the snooze button or lolling around in bed dulls the ability to latch onto those fading dreams given in sleep. One effect of not getting up with alacrity is that we cannot remember our dreams."
Jesus' commands-when not acted upon with promptness, willingness, liveliness and briskness-will quickly fade into futile uncertainty and unprofitable resistance to his leading. But when we "rise like a lion" with gusto and passion, dedicating our lives daily to his Will, we will feel His pleasure!
Here's to the end of snoozing; to the end of dull discipleship. Here's to alacrity and joyful obedience to the Lord of Life, Light and Love!