Sunday, January 10, 2010

Some Thoughts On Aspirations.

"Cover yourself with the dust of [your rabbi's] feet." - Yose ben Yoezer.

In the ancient world, when a disciple decided to follow the rabbinical call, his aim was to live his life on the coattails of his teacher. The disciple would follow, both metaphorically and literally, just behind his teacher down dusty roads from place to place, listening to his sermons, listening to the conversations he had with people. His goal was to learn all the ways the Rabbi would translate the Hebrew scriptures into real world application. He often times would have already memorized the entirety of the Hebrew Scriptures before he even considered accepting the call to be a Rabbi.

The sermon went on to call believers in Christ to act accordingly in their faith. To follow Jesus with the same fervor and desperation as a disciple might have shadowed his master. Good advice, I believe. Good advice to anyone who wishes to truly invest him or herself in their faith in God. After all, "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you."

But what of those of us who feel the trusting hand of our Rabbi on our shoulder, who hear the words, "Go home and love your God as a blacksmith, or carpenter, or computer engineer, or creative writer. But to be a rabbi is not your calling." I think it is at this point that this simple phrase becomes doubly important. Not only is it nevertheless important to cover yourself in the dust of Jesus' feet, but it becomes altogether important to practice the same devotion and desperation when it comes to whatever it is you aspire to do. Cover yourself with the dust of the feet of those who inspire you. Whether you write music, draw cartoons, write poetry, teach kids, or play basketball, cover yourself with the dust of feet. Get to know those who have gone before you, walk in their footsteps, and (this is where my worldly analysis of this quote diverges from is spiritual origins) finally come to a point where you can make your own.

This is precisely why I believe there can be no other way than that of Christ. Because when life leaves you nothing else, when your wish-filled bottles wash back up on shore (and it seems they always do) there is only one way to go about doing anything; and that is the same way we ought to pursue God.

1 comment:

  1. I brush the dust off my feet a little too often than I should and my Christ figures are many.