Why Blog? And Why Selah?
Posted by Roger Dickinson on 25 July 2023, 09:50 SAST
In starting this blog, I only realised in talking with my Daughter yesterday, that I had not set out my intentions for it. She asked me why I was doing it and the first thing that came up was: “For my mental health”. Which is a slightly weird thing to say but probably is the truest thing. There are other reasons I am doing this, which I will expand on later in this blog, but keeping myself sane and more or less aligned to my life purpose and goals, seems like a good thing. So, this should probably have been the first blog but maybe now that I’ve actually started it is good to set down some markers.
I have always found writing things down clarifying for the mind and the soul, and maybe this will be an extension of that. I also get and acknowledge the inherent narcissism and self-promotion that comes with thinking that you have amazing or profound things to say for everyone else to read. I’ll own that and see if there is possibly a balance between all of that and my need to express myself and to set out clearly who and what I want to be.
I’ve always loved this word.
The term "Selah" appears in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) primarily in the Book of Psalms. While its exact meaning is uncertain, scholars and translators have suggested various interpretations based on its context and usage.
The word "Selah" is thought to be a musical or liturgical notation rather than a word with a specific semantic meaning. In the Psalms, it typically appears at the end of a verse or stanza and is believed to have been a direction for the musicians or singers to pause, rest, or lift up their voices. It may have also indicated a change in the music, such as a musical interlude or instrumental break.
While there are no definitive explanations for its exact significance, some common interpretations of "Selah" include:
Pause or Rest: It could signal a moment of reflection or meditation for the readers or singers, encouraging them to pause and consider the message of the preceding verses.
Emphasis: It might highlight a particularly important point or truth, prompting the reader to pay special attention to the preceding words.
Musical Notation: As mentioned earlier, "Selah" could be a direction for the musicians, indicating a musical change or a cue to change the melody or tone.
Praise or Amen: Some believe "Selah" could be an expression of praise or affirmation, similar to "Amen" or "Hallelujah."
My own preference is the definition that says “stop and think deeply about this”, which points to the meditative instruction of point 1 above.
I am hoping that firstly this blog will give me time to ‘Selah’ and possibly invite others to join me in stopping and thinking deeply about things!
What will I blog?
So, what can anyone expect here?
I am now 53 years old, married with 3 teenage children running an education social impact business called A Better Africa Foundation. I am a Christian by faith and a wannabe socialist. I also am not in great physical shape although generally healthy. These are three things I want to write about for now: Education, Spirituality and Health & Fitness. I don’t have a handle on any of them!
Walking through the Wilderness.
As mentioned above I identify as a Christian and have all of my life. In my faith, however, I find myself at multiple crises of belief, direction and relationship with my God.
This has been there most of my life as well, but most especially in the last 10-15 years. In the last few years, I have started exploring the concept, process and reality of the “spiritual wilderness”, and found that, rather than being (only) a scary place of angst and doubt, it has become a place of deepening understanding and exploration, excitement and breakthroughs. (It is however mostly a place of frustration and angst). I believe that many people in my life phase are going through similar experiences. I hope my blog may be of some value in sharing my won experiences and journey through this wilderness.
All African Children to read by 2030.
I come from a long line of Teachers. 3 out of 4 of my grandparents were teachers, both my parents, aunts, uncles, cousins all were in education. I grew up around education and my undergraduate degree is in Education. I chose not to teach as a profession but through the circle that is life, I find myself deeply entrenched in the education system in South Africa and across the continent.
My personal goal/dream is that every African child will be able to read in English and their mother tongue by the year 2030. I’ll expand on this in future blogs but that is the immediate Big Audacious Goal that drives me right now. The blogs I write around this subject will be more directive and invitational. In order to achieve this goal, I need strategic partners, mentors and funders. We also need all hands-on deck to get it done!
Health and Fitness
In a previous life I was physically active and even excelled at times. I have always loved sport and activity and spent most of my youth running, jumping, kicking, hitting or throwing balls. In an age before retalin, that was my treatment for my 1980s version of ADD. In my final year at high school I took the Victor ludorum., award at the athletics and was honoured as Sportsman of the Year. Although looking at my final matric result, a strong case could have been made for spending more times in the books and less on the field! I also played football (soccer) at a reasonable level at amateur level, at university and one year as a semi pro. Throw in basketball, running, volleyball, cricket, martial arts and table tennis and much of teens and 20s was spent active.
This is not the case any longer. And it needs to be! Needs is the correct word. As I get older, the need to counteract aging and the effects of lifestyle related illnesses, such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes and chronic pain, become less of a nice to have but an imperative both for my own survival and wellbeing but also for the economic and emotional wellbeing of my family, employees and the multiple ecosystems I work in.
So that’s what this blog is about!