Sunday, November 11, 2012


Standing just outside the ring of dancers I was gripped by an eerie feeling as the ceremonial fire caused shadows to filter among the rocks of the conclave. With an audible sigh I felt relief come to my soul as the stadium lights caused the shadows to retreat and helped reality brighten the crevices of my vivid imagination.

Later I sat alone beside the wandering stream and contemplated my experiences with the tribal traditions at the yearly regional pow-wow. I had to wonder what strange force first inspired the ancestors to believe that they could solve their problems by dancing around them.

Crops would yield a more abundant harvest by dancing around the seedlings!

Victory in wars would be assured by adorning warriors in armor and with weapons held high dancing around in a mock battle!

Disease would be cured by donning the ceremonial mask and dancing around until the evil spirits were driven from the afflicted!

There were no problems in life which couldn’t be alleviated by ceremoniously dancing around them.

The ‘cultured modern mind’ looks at these ancient practices with a wink of the eye and a sardonic smile, casting them aside as primitive, remaining incredulous about the cause and effect relationship between dancing around one’s problems and the consequential results.

Maybe our condescending attitude comes not out of condemnation of the practice, but out of scorn for the outdated methodology. After all, have we not elevated the art or science of dancing around our problems ‘way beyond the dreams of our long ago forefathers?

Modern man dances around the fire of abortion trying to scare away the evil spirits of teenage motherhood with superficial remedies of freely administered contraceptives and sex education delivered by the uneducated. On we wildly dance, while we are being blinded by the fires of personal past indiscretions and pseudo-realism, which have cast shadows of doubt on man’s ability to be moral through self-control and self-restraint.

Leaders of nations drape themselves with stockpiles of mightier and more sophisticated weapons, researching means of bringing about death, devastation and destruction on an ever grander scale, hoping that their never ending dance will frighten their battle preparing self-declared enemies.

Stirred in our dancing we spin around driven by uncontrolled, unsuppressed desires stimulated by greed, domination and pride, having long ago lost the meaning of loving one’s neighbor.

We prepare for our daily dance by painting our faces to cover the pallor of unhealthy skin. We pop pills in an attempt to make our bodies believe that they have vitality. We bind our bodies with fine linen in an effort to appear firm. As we ever turn in place we try to stem the infirmities of the flesh with artificial remedies which ultimately can only be kept at bay through proper hygiene, nutrition and exercise.

We have been dancing so long upon the coffers of the nations that it now costs more to produce a coin than the value stamped upon it. We have staggered around the monetary printing presses, driving ourselves so deep into the coffin of debt, that values printed on currencies have become meaningless. Paying the piper with unsecured checks we have danced ourselves away from the values of prudence, patience and self-denial.

We gaily prance along, holding dearly to our personal imperfections and misguided priorities, holding to the hope that the next generation will make every movement precisely and in unison, having long ago diminished the effectiveness of example and cheapened our words with the demand that those who follow should do as we say and not as we do.

Standing just outside the ring of dancers, I am gripped with an eerie feeling as the ceremonial fire causes shadows to filter among the rocks of the conclave.

With a sigh originating deep within the recesses of my soul I pray for a portion of understanding.

When will we cease our ineffective dancing?

When will we retreat from the endless circling and walk firmly toward solutions?

When will we emerge from shifting shadows and stride confidently in truth’s bright light?

When will we still the useless motion and move forward to the beat of rightness?

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. (James 1: 5.6.8)


  1. Your thoughts are developed, as usual, to hit home. I especially like the James:6 & 8 added. History, both read and personal, always has lessons to be learned. Thanks for the reminders.

    Jean Seavey

  2. Mil Gracias por sus pensamientos.Te hago llegar un articulo que mande a mis hermanos con comentarios que reflejan mi preocupacion por la situacion actual de algunos paises y en especial los EEUU.

    Armando Gomez

  3. Good morning, Bill – –

    As I read the entirety of your article, I found myself wandering back to the last sentence of the opening paragraph – with the stadium lights coming on, and the shadows disappearing. I am reminded that those shadows are driven away one by one, and family my family, by the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; and I wonder if those longer and deeper and more profound shadows in the world will only be driven away when the "stadium lights" of the second coming of the Savior perform their purging, cleansing and light/life giving function.

    Profound thoughts!

    Good Sabbath to you.

    Doug Higham

  4. You've done it again! I don't know how or where you come up with these insightful and motivating messages. I shouldn't say I don't know where they come from. You obviously have a direct line...much more direct than the rest of us! But you have such a beautiful way of presenting your thoughts
    I guess if I can't have you for a face to face teacher every week, I can look forward to my mentor's wisdom to guide my week. You follow the tab choir where I go to for my mornings inspiration. So I receive inspiring music and your thought provoking written word!
    Give my love to Kathleen. I know you do this as a team. And what a team you are!

    Kathie Brooks

  5. * Vivan de manera sencilla.

    * Tengan paz.

    * Amen y actúen generosamente.

    * Sean solidarios y solícitos.

    * Hablen con amabilidad.

    El resto déjenselo a Dios. y recuerden que: la persona más rica no es la que tiene más sino la que necesita menos

    Jean Paul Terceo

  6. para analizar

    alexander mosquera reyes

  7. Muchas gracias por estas palabras mi presidente esto nos ayuda a mantenernos en lo que es correcto

    Manuel Angel Carvajal Tomala