Thursday, August 29, 2013

Balaam Numbers 22: 22-27

Written on 6/22/13

22 And God's anger was kindled because he went; and the angel of the LORD placed himself in the way for an adversary against him.— Now he was riding upon his ass, and his two servants were with him.— 23 And the ass saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, with his sword drawn in his hand; and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field; and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way. 24 Then the angel of the LORD stood in a hollow way between the vineyards, a fence being on this side, and a fence on that side. 25 And the ass saw the angel of the LORD, and she thrust herself unto the wall, and crushed Balaam's foot against the wall; and he smote her again. 26 And the angel of the LORD went further, and stood in a narrow place, where was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. 27 And the ass saw the angel of the LORD, and she lay down under Balaam; and Balaam's anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with his staff. (JPS online)


We get so mad when we think we're in control of our path, our fate, our ability to get what we want, and then find out we are not.

We think we can see, then proceed blindly into the narrowing passage, hemmed in on all sides, which is a very cramped and bleak place to be. We like options; we like open spaces; we like what we want to happen to happen.

The idea that a holy man (for aren't each of us holy, in our own time?) cannot see an angel of YHVH, but the ass can -- outrage!

I want what I want, which MUST be what God wants, or if not, I can continue to push on and want it anyway.

Not so.

We can box ourselves in really well when left to our own devices. But the connection, the ass, the narrow place, the anger, the blessing -- they must all find their way through us. We must learn to recognize, and see.

Stuck? Bless me.
Hemmed in? Bless openness.
Lost the connection with the divine, the is-was-and-will-be of our souls?

Stop. Listen. Relax. Let go.
Not in control.
On a talking donkey in a narrow crevice.

We can't get out unless we awaken to our own knowing.
Then we can bless everything, and we can find our way once more.

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