Thursday, January 7, 2010

"Keys to Glory" by Edward T. Rothacker

This is an inspirational book penned by a man who served aboard my old ship,(well it was his before it was mine so let's call it "our ship") the USS Milwaukee.

When you serve onboard a ship you really get to know one another very quickly and very closely. But what do we really know about anothers' inner thoughts? What do we know about their lives? Mr. Rothacker paints a vivid picture of his journey from Cleveland, Ohio and Catholic School, to where he is today. And he does it in less than 100 pages!

Spiritually grounded and with a wry sense of humor the author takes you through the phases of his life. School, adolescence, the Navy, playing in a band, meeting and marrying his wife Cindy and having kids. Two common threads emerge in all these periods of his life. Music and God. First in church with piano lessons, later in the Navy for Chapel and a ships' rock band, music takes him on a journey of discovery.

Spirituality cannot be crammed down your throat. It is an evolving journey that takes place over the course of a lifetime during which one is tried and tested. Therein lies the measure of spirituality. It's in how you deal with what life throws your way.

During the Milwaukee years Mr. Rothacker writes of praying on the fantail under the stars. That feeling is the closest to God you can get while still being alive. I know, I've done it.

After leaving the service he witnesses for God and offers prayers for His intervention in the lives of the people he meets. And the results are so evident that they cannot be ignored. Mr. Rothackers' Faith in God literally leaps from the pages and touches your heart.

This was a real departure for me in terms of reading material. I am Jewish. But the message in this book goes beyond labels. Spirituality knows no bounds, it crosses all lines of demarcation, it pierces the most dense barriers. All you have to do is let it in. And then pass it on.

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