Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Best Travel Story Ever

The greatest travel tale ever told is also one of the oldest. It has inspired the faith of humanity and the music of Bob Marley. You can find it in the Torah book of Exodus or the Dreamworks animated musical The Prince of Egypt. I'm talking about the journeys of Moses. Consider three life-grounding principles that have emanated from this world-changing narrative.

1) Life has an overseer. After losing his position as an adopted son in Egypt's royal family to flee a murder charge, Moses hooked-up with some brown sugar from a poor nomadic tribe. His resume went from prince to shepherd. While tending the herd, he saw a burning bush and heard a voice saying he was standing on holy ground. Moses then got a message even better than my book Sacred Ground & Holy Water: there is One who is above all. This idea became a foundation of Islam.

2) Life includes justice. The vision of Moses entailed a commision to return to Egypt, where he would lead his clan out of brutal slavery into a better life. In other words, the One is not only there but fair. Somebody upstairs actually gives a damn about all the injustices perpetrated in this world by those who seemingly have the power to get away with it. Good to know for writers who wanna look at the world as hard as Hemingway did without duplicating his glug, glug, click, bang finale. The midnight getaway led by Moses is celebrated in Judaism's sacred Passover.

3) Life includes compassion. The One is not only there and fair but cares. This exodus led by Moses was a gift that kept on giving. Centuries later, a rabbi named Joshua made roughly the following Passover speech: "This year, we have two sacrificial lambs and one of them is me. Surprise! Management not only cares about freeing us from other people's oppression, but our own enslaving bad character." This rabbi, who shared Bob Marley's faith in both Exodus and Red Red Wine, became so globally popular that he's mostly remembered by his Greek name Jesus.

So, whether you partake in the bread and wine happy meal called Communion, or the super-sized version known as Passover, or prefer to just get down and holla "There's no God but Allah," you should appreciate those performing the other rituals. They're not only practicing their faith but the basic principles of yours. Enlightenment can come from a burning bush, a lotus blossum, a bodhi tree, or a bottle of fermented cactus.

As for "Islamic" jihadists, antisemitic "Christians" and people who hold funerals when their children marry gentiles, they're really just racist jerks. It has nothing to do with any kind of spirituality. Let's all get out there and make Moses proud. Any guy who trades the Egyptian pyramids for a fine black woman's pectoral cones is (in the ancient words of the Doobie Brothers) just alright with me.

1 comment:

  1. Well said!

    Not sure we'll ever look at Passover or Easter quite the same way....