Happiness and wrestling with angels

Sometimes, gthe struggleoing to church, I just don’t get inspired. Afterall, I have been going regularly for the past 35 years.  You get to the point where you can finish people’s sentences, know how they’re gonna start a talk, know what can be said, what can’t. It’s a culture and I’ve pretty much heard it all.  It’s good stuff, and I’ve learned great and wonderful things, but lately, I’ve needed something different, and something more.

I went to the internet, to see what was out there.  I love the internet- it opens up my world and helps me breathe a little bit easier.  C.S. Lewis said:  “We read to know we are not alone.”   That’s what I’m trying to say about the world wide web.

I’ve found a couple of sites that I love.  One of these is a program called “Being”.  Krista Tippets interviews people on a huge variety of topics and you can listen to them as podcasts.  Here’s their about page:


I’ve listened to about 15 of the interviews so far, and have enjoyed every single one.  Krista is an amazing woman and knows the right questions to ask, how to draw out her guest, what topics are interesting and relevant and … she’s likeable.

I listen to them when I run in the mornings- helps make that ordeal a little shorter.  The conversations inspire me.  I hear from people that are remarkable.  People that have a different religious viewpoint than myself, yet believe as strongly as I have.  I find that very interesting.  People that are extraordinary leaders- like Desmond Tutu during apartheid.  I serendipitiously (?) listened to that interview right after I had finished reading Nelson Mandela’s autobiography- made it realer.  People that are creating tomorrow through their scientific research. People trying to understand the world around them, and sharing their insights.  I really enjoy it.  It’s awesome.

So here’s one of my favorite interviews I have listened to:


The podcast is entitled:  Pursuing Happiness with the Dalai Lama Oct 28, 2010

I especially loved Rabbi Sack’s comments- and this gets me to the title of this blog.  He talks about how Isaac wrestles with an angel.  He won’t let the angel go, until the angel blesses him.  Rabbi Sack’s talks about how as he faces difficult times, he looks for the blessings each hardship undoubtedly brings to his life.  I can’t do it justice- you’ll have to listen for yourself.  But this was very inspiring to me and I think of it still.  I believe it to be true and it is how I want to approach hardship as well.

So thank-you Krista Tippets, for arranging all this, having a vision and doing it.  I have been inspired by these people and their lives.  These discussions have been just what the doctor ordered.  I’m also glad I took the time to find you and listen.

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4 Responses to Happiness and wrestling with angels

  1. Todd says:

    Remember who introduced you to Krista Tippetts . . .

  2. If you haven’t read The Art of Happiness you would love it. It’s no wonder I loved being your roommate-I love reading your thoughts.

  3. lynnley says:

    Ahh- the happiest guy in the world, supposedly. I heard about his book on one of the BEing podcasts. I just put it on hold at the library- thanks for the recommend. Love it!

  4. Jeff says:

    I can’t wait til summer when I can get back in the habit of listening to podcasts–these will be at the top of the list. Just bring your ipod to church…

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