Monday, April 30, 2007

Retreat Compleat

What a fabulous time.

Anafora is a farm half way between Cairo and Alexandria built and managed by one of the most remarkable men on the planet, a Coptic Orthodox Bishop. It is simple, beautiful, quiet and so full of God's presence you feel like bursting in to tears as you walk through the gate. The food is great, the rooms are simple and clean and beautifully designed in the local traditional architecture with domed ceilings and thick walls, the lighting is mostly candles, and there is a wonderful church with the weirdest acoustics I've ever encountered. There is a set of waterways running through the grounds that get filled for swimming and then emptied out into the irrigation system for the farm - most ingenious - and there are all kinds of little quiet spots where you can just sit and think or dream or pray or snooze. I think I managed to do all four at once at some point.

So I spent some time with some friends who were also there (coincidentally) praying and worshiping, I read some of "Soul Cravings", I played my guitar in my room, I took a moonlit walk around the farm and had a really encouraging conversation with God. I swum, I fasted and I spent yesterday afternoon reading through the Gospel of Matthew.

I'm not sure if it was long enough to really re-charge my spiritual batteries, but one of the things I heard God say to me was that I need to spend more time talking to him more regularly. So could you help me out with that and ask me how I'm doing from time to time?

Incidentally, I had the jafferpod set to shuffle, and on the journey up there, God was controlling the playlist - mainly Iona, with a good mix of everything else except Dave Matthews Band. Only one song from Stand Up came on, and the lyrics offended me so I skipped forward. On the way home, there was another from that album called "Everybody Wake Up" with the lyrics

I remember the words of the misguided fool
Do unto others as you'd have them do
Not an eye for an eye is the golden rule
Just leaves a room full of blind men
Well, having just a couple of hours earlier read in Matthew 7:12, Jesus's words "Do for others what you would like them to do for you" my respect for DM has plummeted.

Should I delete the song?


*The Blogstar said...

Hi Mark! It's Jen Jarnagin (Mrs. Blogstar). Your retreat sounds heavenly. I am craving some time away with the Father.
In regards to your question, and knowing Dave Matthew's history with the Christian faith, I take the song as his agreement with the Golden Rule. He is such a peace activist and he respects Christ's teachings of love. I took those lyrics to say the even though the Golden Rule sounds like foolishness, the alternative leads only to violence and ignorance. Thoughts??

Mark Jaffrey said...

Welcome Jen,

I know this song is about the war in Iraq and DM's anger towards it, so it is conceivable that the "misguided fool" he speaks about is President Bush, quoting the words of Jesus. However, if that is true, it is a pretty veiled reference.

It's possible that there should be a full stop after "misguided fool", but it reads as though there should be a comma or semi-colon. If there was a stop, then the quote of Jesus's summary of the law and the prophets is not necessarily "the words of the misguided fool" at all.

Anyway, now I'm a little confused.

Any other thoughts?

marcel said...

Perhaps he is correcting the misguided fool, by telling him how he should interpret the law. So then indeed there should be a fullstop after 'fool'. So that's basically what you (mark) said I guess...

Patrick Murphy said...

hey bud. to get a cd out....
shut down your computer
then restart and when the computer chimes hold down the mouse or hold down the eject button
it will force eject anything in there.

I wrote the chorus to that hymn based off of one of its verses. i really do have GREAT musicians playing with me in the band so they should pick it up quickly. thank you for your feedback.