When the spirit moves you

When I Was Growing Up , I had teachers who sometimes urged us to do our schoolwork by saying, "When the spirit moves you." They said that with a little grin—a little sarcasm—but I detected a little good will there, too, and soon realized the phrase had wedged its way into the footsteps of my days. At some point, I learned that the source of my teachers' language was an old big-band song that said, "When the spirit moves you, you'll shout, 'Hallelujah!' "

Hallelujah? For me that was a long way down the road. I spent years wandering down dead-end streets. So what was moving me then? Was it maybe a spirit that wasn't divine, that wasn't God? Maybe a spirit of confusion, loneliness, selfishness, self-condemnation?

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September 23, 2002
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