2012 Fall Conference Speaker, Rev. Debra Jarvis: Speaks (part three)

On Saturday, September 29th 2012, Living Beyond Breast Cancer will host the Annual Fall Conference at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel. Women from all over the country will join us for presentations on a plethora of topics, ranging  on tops from “Long Term Survivorship” and “Newly Diagnosed,” to “Care for the Caregiver” and “Navigating Health Insurance Claims.”  Today, the LBBC Blog  offer one more installment from Reverend Debra Jarvis, our closing plenary speaker at this year’s event, as she discusses her experience with the “Random Voice Of God.”

A few months ago I took a four-hour trip to a mineral springs to celebrate a friend’s birthday. We all agreed we would not do this again for one weekend.

However all the travel gave us plenty of time to witness the Random Voice Of God (RVOG). Like a “found” poem the RVOG is everywhere. We first encountered it at a toll bridge where we read the sign, PROCEED WHEN CLEAR.

This is good spiritual advice. We noted it accordingly. Don’t proceed without clarity. Just wait. All shall be revealed in the fullness of time. But our culture rewards the quick, the speedy. Decide now! Au contraire, my friends. A wise woman once said to me, “Never make a decision in the presence of the person who is asking the question.”

She didn’t mean at the latte stand or in a restaurant. She meant questions like, “Will you take this job?” “Mastectomy or lumpectomy?” “Can you take my kids one day a week?” Think about it. Sleep on it. Proceed when clear.

One of the pools at this mineral spring accidently got up to 125 degrees and we considered poaching chicken in it. Posted in front of it was another sign from the RVOG: STAY OUT OF HOT WATER.

You would think this would be obvious, but I can’t tell you the number of people we saw who tried to dip their feet in it. What were they thinking? What makes us do things that will so clearly burn us?  Curiosity? Stupidity? A misguided sense of daring or rebellion? Grow up. Stay out of hot water. Life hands you enough hot water without your jumping into it.

That night my friend was handing out pieces of birthday cake. The edge pieces had lots of icing, the middle not so much. So she asked my friend, “What would you like?”

And my friend replied, “I’d like an inner piece.”

“Wouldn’t we all!” I shouted. But it was really the RVOG at the food fest reminding us that an inner peace is desired by everyone.

So I suggest we put it out there to the Universe: I’D LIKE AN INNER PEACE.

My favorite sign of all was posted next to Acacia cemetery on Bothell Way in Seattle. Sometimes we just need a sign from the Random Voice Of God that affirms what we already know, that reassures us by stating the obvious. The sign read: DEAD END.

Well, duh. Thank you anyway.

But hold on! It did make all of us in the car ponder what are the dead ends in our lives? What attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, friends no longer serve us but are holding us back, that are DEAD ENDS?  Where are your dead ends?

So stayed alert.  The RVOG is everywhere. Where have you witnessed it?

Debra Jarvis, “the irreverent reverend with something to say,” is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. She is the author of several books, most recently It’s Not About the Hair: And Other Certainties of Life & Cancer (Sasquatch Books, 2007) which was finalist for the 2009 Washington State Book Awards.  For more information on her work or her writing, visit her website. Visit the LBBC Events page for further registration information on the 2012 Annual Fall Conference.

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