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O.C. RELIGION | THE MESSAGE

Neglecting Your Spirit Is Risking a Lifeline to God

October 14, 2000|Rabbi Mark Miller

The following is an excerpt from a sermon delivered by Rabbi Mark Miller of Temple Bat Yahm on Yom Kippur, Monday.

A man fancied himself a captain and set about building a ship to his luxurious specifications. He employed the most experienced craftsmen, outfitted the vessel with the most costly woods, state-of-the-art navigation equipment, the finest sails and the richest furnishings.

But when it came time for putting the weight in the keel to stabilize the ship, he did not think it very important because that was below the waterline. No one would see it. So he skimped on that expenditure.

Well, as you can imagine, the first day he set out to sea, a storm arose and the boat capsized. The man who had left the port in glory atop his perch had to be escorted back in embarrassment.

And I think that so many of us lavish our attention and our substance on what can be seen and what can be shown off--the trappings and the finery.

As we read in the Bible in 1 Samuel: "Man looks to the outward show. The Lord looks into the heart."

We neglect what's below the waterline--our spirit, which is our lifeline to God when storms arise. And we who are so consumed with interior design of our homes should be at least concerned when designing our own interior so that our inner wealth surpasses our outer treasures and so our depth is greater than our breadth.

So this is a night to return to the source. To come again into God's intimate presence, to reconnect with the commandments, study and prayer.

Because a wise man-- his name was Satchel Paige--once said, "Don't pray when it's raining if you haven't prayed when the sun is shining."

The Message features excerpts from recent sermons given by Orange County clergy. If you'd like to submit your message for this page, e-mail it to ocreligion@latimes.com or fax it to (714) 966-7711.

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