"Luke Ford reports all of the 'juicy' quotes, and has been doing it for years." (Marc B. Shapiro)
"This guy knows all the gossip, the ins and outs, the lashon hara of the Orthodox world. He’s an [expert] in... all the inner workings of the Orthodox world." (Rabbi Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff)
"This generation's Hillel." (Nathan Cofnas)
I went back to Cooranbong Sunday, the place I spent most of my first 11 years. My dad taught Religion at Avondale College.
Rocky Point at Lake MacQuarie (where I was baptized in 1982).
My childhood home on Currans Road.
The Point in Cooranbong near my home.
Because I’ve often lacked normal levels of human connection, I’ve often had an above average need for meaning and inspiration. This intense yearning has often led me in absurd directions, but even when I went in a good place, the feeling of being on fire didn’t give me the power I needed to change my life. I couldn’t consistently translate inspiration into a higher level of behavior. The inspiration would flow through me (from synagogue or yoga or 12 step work or whatever idea I was enthused about in the moment) and then flow out of me. It would be gone when I needed it most.
The only answer that makes sense to me for this problem is human connection. If I don’t translate inspiration into human connection, it dissipates rapidly. The only way to sustain God’s power in my experience is through bonding with other people. God without human connection for me is just an abstract thought of limited use. One thing I love about 12 step programs is that they are God with skin on them. I’ve never felt so consistently the presence of God as I have in 12 step rooms when I hear from people whose lives were hopeless until they found a Higher Power.
So when I get inspired and enthused and delighted in God, I have to translate that into being of service to others such as my co-workers, bosses, clients, family and friends. Unless I connect to others, there’s no recovery for me and no lasting change. Inspiration without connection is just cheap grace.