Monday, August 29, 2011

The Instructions

I'm reading a mammoth(ly good) book right now that keeps sending me to my journal to write down excerpts as devotions. This year has been so full of change for me -- the first half, painful, and now, the second half, exciting -- and so I am thinking a lot of the plans I made for myself and how they have changed. When I read this on the fire escape yesterday, I immediately climbed back into my apartment to write it down.

The passage before is about how in the Torah, Avram looked to the stars and saw that Avram would not have children with Sarai. What he didn't know is that God would change both their names, that at 99- and 89-years-old they would begin bearing children and become the Uber Patriarch and Matriarch for the rest of time. (In church when I was a kid, we sang a song that had a bunch of accompanying movements that went like this: "Father Abraham had many sons. Many sons had father Abraham. And I am one of them. And so are you. So let's just praise the Lord.")

Anyway, the excerpt:

"One wonders why, if the stars tell true stories, Avram did not, in the stars, read the story of his new name. It was surely there, the story of Avram's name being changed, but Avram on the ground did not see it. And so bearing in mind that his story was available and that he was capable of reading it, one can only conclude that he didn't find that story because he wasn't looking for that story."

- Adam Levin, The Instructions


amanda allen said...

Whoa! I remember that song from Vacation Bible School when I was a child. It involved a lot of stomping/marching and swinging of arms. It was really hot one July day singing that in a stuffy church and I got dizzy and fell over. I just over exerted myself with all my fanned enthusiasm.

ryan kost said...

i love this.