Dance of the Ninth Day

“In the cold you wrap me.  In my uncertainty you listen. In all my joys you celebrate.  At every turn you meet me with competence and grace.  What a fine dance we have together.”

Mary Anne Radmacher

I once had this epiphany and scribbled down the words that came to my mind.  My intention was to let them marinate and become a poem.  Of course, they still may, but for more than thirty years have yet to inspire more verse.  

They came to me at a time when I had decided never to become involved in another intimate relationship.  Pain from losing my marriage and children was so intense that I vowed a life of celibacy.  I would travel alone.  It was the middle of the night when this phrase came along; ‘Dance, Dance, Dance!  I said celebrate not celibate.’  

Though the words may sound simple or silly, I was changed.  Gradually opening myself to others, I miraculously found the love of my life and we married.  I have been restored to family, children and grandchildren.  Life is good…and it is intended to be a dance of celebration.  This is my lesson of The Ninth Day of Christmas.

The gift of Nine Ladies Dancing from our true love is compelling.  It takes the intimacy of the dance and entwines it into spiritual direction.  We are reminded of the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit.  This Spirit is God revealed as the interactive dancer who teaches us how to live and love.  We are supposed to be engaged in an active relationship with God and with each other. 

The nine Christmas gifts include; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  A dancer needs a partner.  When there is nobody to dance with there is no relationship or affection.  God needs us and we need God.  So let’s dance.  It is a perfect day to engage.


“I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed.” ~ Mark Sanders and Tia Sillers

Seasonal Wonders

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“A comprehensible God is no more than an idol.” ~ Madeleine L’Engle

Autumn is here and I can hardly wait for all of its splendor and a glimpse of God’s immense grandeur.  How can we begin to think that we are masters of anything?  No matter what we do, how much money or power we wield, what kind of influence we exert, whether we are at the top of our game and fit as a fiddle, nothing…absolutely nothing can even vaguely compare to the magnificence of God’s work.  When we let go of the illusion that we are in charge of anything, child-like innocence returns.  Then our eyes will be re-opened to the splendor of it all.

My most vivid memories of God are not at an altar or sitting in a congregation. They come back in waves of wonder which return me to Max Patch overlooking the reds, oranges, russets, and greens nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  I think of waterfalls cascading in the Pisgah National Forest.  Memories flow of a brilliant fall sunrise over the Atlantic just before a tropical storm.  I recall double rainbows on the plains of Lincoln County, Colorado reflected on the icy scrub brush and rambling tumbleweed.  God is incomprehensible. Whenever we think otherwise, we are ignoring the evidence.  Happy autumn splendor to everyone!  Celebrate it with gusto!

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Robert Kenneth Jones is an innovator in the treatment of addiction and childhood abuse.

In a career spanning over four decades, his work helping people recover from childhood abuse and addiction has earned him the respect of his peers.

His blog, An Elephant for Breakfast, testifies to the power of the human spirit to overcome the worst of life’s difficulties. We encourage you to visit and share this rich source of healing, inspiration and meditation.

Contact Bob Jones on Linkedin

Bob Jones’ blog An Elephant for Breakfast

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An Irresistible Banquet

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“Life is a moveable feast” – Ernest Hemingway

Years ago, it was trendy and popular to participate in progressive dinner parties with a group of good friends.  A progressive meal is one in which guests travel from home to home, eating one course at each.  Five families volunteer to be hosts and it would be their homes that people would travel to and from.  Usually, some kind of theme was used (for example a detective who-done-it, football, a foreign country’s cuisine, pioneer days, the 1950s, and so on).

The invitation was designed as if it were a restaurant menu, listing each course and where it would be served. At the first home, appetizers and drinks would be served…at the second home, soup and salad….at the third home would be the main course…at the fourth home, dessert and coffee. Finally, at the fifth home, some kind of party games would be played.  These feasts were terrific and always very entertaining.

Hemingway tells us the feast is everywhere because it is easy to forget that life is a banquet.  We become so focused on our troubles, our busyness, and our duties, that we fail to celebrate.  We move from day to day as if everything was such a terribly serious matter.  We are here today.  Our very lives are reason enough to rejoice.  Wouldn’t it be a good idea to make today different by joining in on the feast?

How can I enjoy my life today by participating in its miracles and happiness?

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Robert Kenneth Jones is an innovator in the treatment of addiction and childhood abuse.

In a career spanning over four decades, his work helping people recover from childhood abuse and addiction has earned him the respect of his peers.

His blog, An Elephant for Breakfast, testifies to the power of the human spirit to overcome the worst of life’s difficulties. We encourage you to visit and share this rich source of healing, inspiration and meditation.

Contact Bob Jones on Linkedin

Bob Jones’ blog An Elephant for Breakfast

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Life Is A Banquet

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“In all of living, have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured.” ~ Gordon B. Hinckley

The warm showers and new life offered up to us from Mother Earth, provided by a loving God, are reason enough to celebrate.  We take ourselves way, way, way too seriously.  There is joy and humor to be found all around us, yet so often we trudge along with heavy hearts, one-track minds and narrowed tunnel vision.  We are so darned self-absorbed and preoccupied that we miss the whole thing.  Political correctness stifles the laugh that stirs in our bellies.  We fret excessively about offending…or being inappropriate. 

Springtime reminds us to begin anew, to put aside our old worn out worry, hurry and hate that we drag around from the winter chill.  There is plenty enough time to pick it back up if we so desire.  Now is the time for merriment.

The thought of former Chicago Cubs third baseman, Ron Santo pops into my head when I think about finding joy in every moment.  Here was a guy with every reason in the world to be a martyr and carry resentment.  He had juvenile diabetes and it was the serious kind.  There was never a doubt that the progression of the disease would take him out one day.  Despite the gloomy prognosis, he played the game of baseball with a flourish.  He was known for jumping up in the air and clicking his heels at Wrigley displaying his great exuberance for life.

“Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death. Live! Live! Live!” ~ Auntie Mame (1958) with Rosalind Russell

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He found delight and humor in the Curse of The Cubs when a black cat circled him on third base one day in 1969.  He was funny, charming and delightful as the WGN announcer despite losing both of his legs later in life.  Ronny taught us that we all have trouble and afflictions…but that we should never let them get us down.  Nobody ever deserved being in the Baseball Hall of Fame more than Ron Santo.

We have more than enough reason to have LOTS of fun despite our hard times.  Let go and have a good belly laugh today!  Life is too short to be glum.

____________________

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_team_member name=”Robert Kenneth Jones” position=”Columnist” image_url=”https://chaplainusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/robert.jpg” facebook_url=”https://www.facebook.com/KenJonesBoy” linkedin_url=”https://www.linkedin.com/in/robert-kenneth-jones-8861183/” admin_label=”Robert Kenneth Jones” _builder_version=”3.0.101″ global_module=”26968″ saved_tabs=”all”]

Robert Kenneth Jones is an innovator in the treatment of addiction and childhood abuse.

In a career spanning over four decades, his work helping people recover from childhood abuse and addiction has earned him the respect of his peers.

His blog, An Elephant for Breakfast, testifies to the power of the human spirit to overcome the worst of life’s difficulties. We encourage you to visit and share this rich source of healing, inspiration and meditation.

Contact Bob Jones on Linkedin

Bob Jones’ blog An Elephant for Breakfast

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