My doctor's scheduler called several weeks ago and said it was time for my annual physical.

"Are you talking a whole-nine-yards physical?" I asked.

"Actually, ten yards," she responded.

A day or so later my dentist's scheduler called to say it was time for an annual check- up on my teeth.

I know I'm supposed to be thankful for both of these examinations, but the truth is that I'm not … until they're over. Why?

Well, how about the loss-of-dignity issue when they put you in that paper gown? Then there's that moment of realization when you know that they know you haven't kept all the promises you made during last year's examination (dropping a few pounds and flossing every day). Finally, and more seriously, there's always the chance that you'll hear bad news: a needed surgical procedure or a root canal.

Still, a wise person heeds the scheduler's summons and shows up at the appointed hour.

As I left the doctor's office the other day, I wondered if there was an equivalent of a physical for one's interior life. If people need physicals, don't they also need spirituals?

I saw Psalm 139 in a new light: "Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me." The writer of these words seems to be inviting a spiritual. There is abundant, if not infinite, space in the spiritual dimension of one's life. Who, but God, could ever know everything in that space?

I have become increasingly aware of the enormous amount of activity inside of me that I neither understand nor fully control. Impressions, attitudes, urges, motives, and initiatives bubble up and out of that darkened space, and not all of it is noble. It's similar to all the physical activity deep inside my body that I don't ...

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Fall 2010: Ambitions  | Posted
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