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Daily Devotionals

Chip Shots from the Ruff of Life

Devotional for May 23

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The mind can play terrible tricks on us. Hallucinations can seem as real as the world around us. Fantasies can overwhelm us to the point that real relationships mean little or nothing to us. Obesessions are also a trick of the mind and can be just as frustrating and deadly as the other things I have already mentioned. Consider the odd life of one Arnold Schoenberg, the famed Austrian composer.

Schoenberg was born on September 13, 1874. As he grew older he became convinced that he would die on the 13 as well. But what year? He reasoned that it would probably be the year 1951 when he was 76 years old. After all seven and six add up to thirteen. He also reasoned that it would be Friday the 13th which settled his projected death date at July 13.

As July 13, 1951 dawned, Schoenberg was in bed and stayed there waiting to die. His wife did her best to encourage him to come out of the bedroom and play some music or at least spend some time with her, but to no avail. Late that night his wife went to his room to check on him and scold him for wasting the entire day so foolishly. When she opened the door Schoenberg looked at her and said, "Harmony," and fell back in the bed dead. He died at 11:47 p.m., thirteen minutes before midnight.

The threat of death, and the obsession with it as tied to other things, can defeat people who dwell on it with their whole being. Arnold Schoenberg, for all his brilliance as a composer, became anxious for his time of death through a certainty of when it would occur. Call it obsession or anxiety. His mind embraced it so fiercely that his life was forfeited.

If obsession or anxiety get the best of you try a strong dose of the Apostle Paul's spiritual medicine. "Rejoice in the Lord always. I say it again, rejoice! Let your gentleness be know to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God." Philippians 4:4-6

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'Chip Shots from the Ruff of Life' Copyright 2010 © Tom Kelley. 'Chip Shots from the Ruff of Life' articles may be reproduced in whole under the following provisions: 1) A proper credit must be given to the author at the end of each story, along with their complete bio and a link to  2) 'Chip Shots from the Ruff of Life' content may not be arranged or "mirrored" as a competitive online service.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020
the Week of Proper 4 / Ordinary 9
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