About 40 years ago, I went to see a film in a cinema with my future husband, Todd. We were all of 22. Remarkably, he could predict the next lines in the script for many of the characters. Sitting in the dark, he’d lean over and whisper them to me, before the words passed the actors’ lips. I knew he was a talented guy, but…how on earth???
Knowing scripture and the classics prepares us with the major themes and minor story lines of life. When we understand how a real-time narrative is likely to proceed, we needn’t sweat: we can predict a range of what is likely to come next. Todd’s able mentor of the greatest stories ever told was Cantor Blau of Asbury Park, New Jersey, who captured and commanded young men’s attention with promises of being able to play soccer in the shul-yard after Hebrew classes.
It’s fascinating to watch Mets manager Terry Collins in his interviews after each game, most days keeping an eye on the big picture and its moving parts, with reassuring calm. If one oar is broken, another oarsman pulls harder. Kings can be found in reed baskets. There is usually a Judas in a given group.
Collins has to have a vision that the Red Sea may part, and be able to lead his people through. We all just have to selectively downplay those forty years in the desert.
Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”
He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.
The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”
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-Maureen Edelson, Creator
Montclair, New Jersey