The 77% Weekly
The 40/52-weeks-a-year, quick-reading, thought-lingering, spiritual-religious newsletter.

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22/40
From the desk of Rabbi Brian

Waiting for Roast Duck with Mouth Open
I
heard a funny phrase that made me laugh so hard, I thought I’d share it
with you all. It’s a Chinese aphorism that relates to taking action in
order to get things done. Here it is:

Man stands with mouth open for long time before roast duck flies in.

Isn’t that great?

I
want you to imagine a person – man, woman, boy, girl – standing on a
hillside and feeling very hungry. So hungry, in fact, that their mouth
is watering and their stomach is growling like crazy. This person takes
a look around their environment and decides the best course of action
is to simply open their mouth and wait for a meal to fly in.

Absurd, isn’t it?

But we do this all the time.

  • My relationship with so-and-so is horrendous. I’m sure it will fix itself.
  • I’m really stiff and sore, but I’m not going to stretch. The soreness will remove itself.
  • I’m not feeling very well. I think I’ll do nothing and hope the feeling passes.
  • I’m broke! I don’t have any money. I’ll just wait for my wallet to fill itself with cash.

Many
of us from time to time, even the most rational among us, expect roast
duck to fly right into our mouths, with little or no effort on our part.

Those of us who think we can just wish for our problems to solve themselves will be waiting a long time before we get what we need. (I find the twin notions of The Law of Attraction, Manifesting promoted by The Secret, and What the BLEEP Do We Know, as well as Prosperity Theology promoted by Joel Osteen and and others to be a bit spurious.)

Our needs aren’t going to fulfill themselves. We can hope and visualize for the best all we want, but in the end, we must act. Roast duck isn’t just going to fly into our mouths.

How about you?

Can
you think of some problem area in your life that you’re just hoping
will taking care of itself? Chances are you can also think of steps you
can take towards remedying the situation.

I
find that many people think their empty spiritual-religious lives will
magically be filled. This will never happen. Like anything else, it
takes effort – like planning to take time off, then actually doing it.

This week’s spiritual-religious advice: don’t
just stand on the hillside with your mouth open. Go out and catch the
duck yourself, roast it, then eat it. At the very least, head over to a
restaurant that serves it.

 

And, yes, I’ve thought about how this message fits together with last week’s newsletter “The Task is Great.”  I’d love to hear your thoughts…

The 77% Weekly

The 77% Weekly: The Religion-Outside-The-Box Newsletter
helps people find and be with (the) God (of their understanding) 40 out of 52 weeks a year.

 

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1) 40/52 = 0.76923. The newsletter is sent every Monday except the last of each month.
2) In school 77% was a passing grade and ROTB is delighted to remind you that life isn’t graded.

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