Smile (Even if You Don’t Feel Like it)

What if the frown on your face is not the result but the cause of your unhappiness? I read it in yesterday’s paper. Doctors took a group of 75 people suffering from major depression and randomly assigned them to receive either a Botox shot in the forehead muscles that make it possible to frown, or…

The Empty Boat

A man is having an enjoyable boat ride on a river. It is dusk. The man looks up to see another boat coming down the river toward him, and his first thought is how nice it is that someone else is out enjoying the river and the beauty of a summer’s evening. Then he realizes…

The Heartbreak of Truth

There is an old Jewish story about the young pupil who asks the respected rabbi a question about that well-known passage in Deuteronomy 6:6. “And these words, which I command you this day, shall be upon your heart.” “Why is it this way?” the pupil asks. “Why are we told to put these words upon…

My Night in Sing Sing

On Monday night I sat in the most exciting, powerful and inspirational circle I’ve experienced in years. I was conversing with convicted felons at Sing Sing prison—homicide, armed robbery, drug dealing. We sat in a classroom, maybe fifteen of us from the “outside” and ten inmates. We had come to learn more about a program…

Narrow Your Options

Creativity is kin to spirituality. As a writer and a pastor, I am always intrigued by how the creative process—for any artist—tracks so closely the movement of the Spirit. The key to creativity, I find, also fits the lock and opens the door of the soul. And that key is: limits. Everything about our world…