My Obsession with the Number 23

A good number of people have asked why I seem to be so obsessed with the number twenty-three.  I’ll devote a few paragraphs here to give you the condensed version of why the prime number has become a big part of my life.  I don’t expect anyone to claim any significance the way I have, but will ask for a few minutes of your time to give you some background.

For twenty-five of my twenty-nine years in the public school classroom, math was one of the subjects I taught.  To be honest, I never really was that good in math, but my struggle to understand concepts I believe helped me to reach those that were going through similar struggles.  It was the “I’ve been where you are and know how you feel” mentality.  So it suffices to say numbers have always been an important part of my life.

About eight years ago, I was going through a particularly difficult time in my life and to be honest, not a whole lot of anything made any sense.  Separation and eventual divorce, recovery from addiction, and general upheaval has a way of doing that to you.  A fellow teacher, noting that I was really struggling, suggested I take up the hobby of numerology.  While I wasn’t a person that put a whole lot of store in what the numerologists seemed to be implying, it did peak my interest.  Somewhere along the way, I discovered the number twenty-three kept showing up over and over in my life.  That was the seed it took for me to study the number even further.

During my “investigation” I found out that both of my parents were twenty-three years old when I was born.  I was conceived in 1958 and those digits sum to twenty-three as well.  My son is twenty-three years younger than I am and my daughter was born on my sister’s twenty-third birthday.  Needless to say, the beginning of life is important to all and the presence of those numbers at my life’s beginning was too obvious to ignore.  * Note – I can say with some certainty that I was conceived on October 9, 1958, but I don’t want to raise your skepticism too early.

I also took a look at my birthdate in its numerical form:  7/6/1959.  If you sum the first four digits, you get twenty-three.  If you sum the last two digits, you get 14.  Since I am a person of the Christian faith, I began to look at the 23-14 combinations I could find in the Bible.  The first reading that seemed to have significance was Numbers 23:14.  It was there I found the name of the church I attend, Mt. Pisgah.

The next significant passage came from 2 Samuel 23:14, which contains the name “David” and “Bethlehem”.  David is the name I was given at birth and Bethlehem is the name of the town where Mt. Pisgah is located.  The most puzzling verse is Matthew 23:14.  In most translations of the Bible it’s not listed.  The Gospel of Matthew goes from 23:13 to 23:15.

So what did I take from all this you might ask? In a time during my life when not a whole lot was making any sense, I turned to God to find meaning.  I was fortunate enough to be raised in a home where church was an important element.  But it wasn’t until this difficult time in life when any of it began to take hold.  The different scriptures gave me assurance and bolstered my faith to the fact that God knew exactly what was going on in my life.  He had been there at the beginning and I had no reason to question He was still with me now.

So each time I see the number twenty-three, it’s like a “wink from God” that says amidst the chaos of my life, He is ever present…. He always has been and He always will be.  Now do I sometimes carry it a bit too far?  Perhaps so, but it’s something that I’ve held onto during the darkest valleys of life and I’m not about to let go.  I know some may think it’s pure nonsense and insignificant, but then it was God talking to me through a language He knew that I would understand and pay attention to.

And that my friends is the short version.  There are a lot of other situations that the number has kept showing up.  I just have to smile and know that there is One that knows me and will always have my best interest in mind.

David Lee

100 Days of Writing – Day Eighty-Eight

My thoughts were flowing tonight as I wrote in my journal…and I share those words here.

I am running myself ragged pondering all that my mind wants to understand. I look at the events of the past and then the present circumstances – things as they are – trying to understand it all.

But then I see things as I do at this moment and realize I am never likely to comprehend why things happened as they did. And in the process, I will have wasted many of my “present moments.”

There is also the realization that no matter how much I want things to be different than they are, it is highly unlikely it will ever be that way.

Surrender,,,, indeed, radical surrender and acceptance are the only things that will likely lead to a reasonable peace of mind in my future.

David Lee

100 Days of Writing – Day Eighty-Seven

Hiatus from social media nearly done. The question is, do I really want to go back?

It’s been a long while since I’ve visited social media websites. I decided for a myriad of reasons that a break from social media was appropriate for this year’s “doing without.” So beginning on Wednesday, February 22 of this year I made a vow not to use social media, namely Facebook and Instagram. And I can say that I’ve been successful with fasting and am just wondering whether or not I really want to go back.

I had done the social media hiatus before during the Lenten season and I can say this time around was much easier than previous times. I did not find myself tempted in the least and as before, after the first couple of weeks it was no big deal.

In the meantime, I’ve done a lot more reading and writing. I’ve gone on several adventures each weekend and have added to my collection of advertising memorabilia. I also spent several days in a nearby mountain town and that was enjoyable. There were those times when I wanted to share pictures of what I was doing, but it wasn’t worth breaking my code of social media silence.

During the

  • 912 hours
  • 38 days
  • 5 weeks and 3 days

of my time away from Facebook and the like, I’ve realized that I can easily live without it. I did miss out on finding information about “breaking news”, but I found other sources to get information. I need to do some soul-searching to ask myself if my life is any more productive and happy not being a part of the social media world.

I do like to share my daily readings I post each day and I’ve had several people mention they’ve been missing those. So I guess I can say that I provide a meaningful service to others through my presence. Perhaps I instead of staying away from it all together need to limit the amount of time I spend scrolling. Maybe not reinstalling the apps on my phone wouldn’t be a bad idea either.

The Lenten season is officially over on Thursday, April 6th. In the past, I’ve always waited until Easter Sunday to make my return. I’m planning on much the same this year and at least for now, I’m pondering whether or not to return at all.

Only time will tell.

David Lee

Daily Writing Prompt

Daily writing prompt
What is your favorite type of weather?

I have a particular type of weather in mind when I hear this question. Unfortunately, its occurrences are few and far apart. I remember back when I was a child, it used to snow a whole lot more than it does now. And when I say snow, I clarify by saying a major snow of anywhere from six to twelve inches that would be with us for nearly a week’s time.

I remember getting out on my sled one morning. The roads were still thick with their ice/snow covering, perfect for sledding. But the clouds that had brought the white-laden ground had left and the sun would be shining brightly in the blue sky. While the snow would eventually start to melt, these morning hours of sub-freezing temperatures with the sun ablaze in the blue sky are without a doubt my favorite weather condition.

I had a similar event as an adult nearly twenty years ago, although I no longer would get out to test the icy roads with my sled. It had snowed quite a bit and the clouds had given way to the blue sky and the sun was shining brightly. It was so very quiet and pristine that morning and I would pay anything to have one more moment just like that.

David Lee

100 Days of Writing – Day Eighty-Six

I’ve been writing in a journal for the past twenty-plus years. It was a suggestion from a therapist who I was seeing at the time. Little did I realize at the time what an important part of my life it would become. I found a journal the other day that I never had finished. I had reaching a turning point in my life and thought it appropriate to start a new journal. Reading back in the unfinished journal has been insightful. If only I knew then what was going to transpire. But then again, maybe I did.

From journal entry for December 2, 2022 —> Friday – 12:21 p.m. – Barnes and Noble ( I always put the date and time and place I’m writing)

Another journal has begun. This journal will most likely bring in a new year and we’ll say good-bye to what has been one of the most difficult years of my life. There will be no looking back and only looking ahead for what the new year’s possibilities are.

I will most likely reach a new level of turning my will and my life over to God’s care on multiple fronts. And I will hopefully be much happier for all the changes that are on the horizon for the year ahead.

So much has happened this past year and God only knows what will happen in the upcoming year. (Talk about prophetic!!!)

It was said at the meeting this morning and just perhaps it needs to by my mantra going forward: “Do no harm.” I know what I would like to have happen and I ask God to set that in motion (Truth is, I now don’t remember what that was.) if that is indeed a part of His will for our lives. (Now I’m really trying to remember what I was thinking at that time.)

David Lee

Saturday Night at the Cafe’

It’s been a gorgeous day and I’m closing in on nightfall here at my home-away-from-home, the Barnes & Noble Cafe. I have a week off from school and will make an effort to share more of my writing over that time. I have still been writing in my journal, but want to share some of the thoughts meandering their way through my mind.

One of perks of teaching after you “retire” is that they limit the number of days per month you can actually work. The month of March featured twenty-one student days, so I had to plan to take five days off from work. I decided to lump them all together in this last week of March and am looking forward to the time off.

Unlike many jobs, where you just call in to say you won’t be there, teaching requires that you plan for the days off. While we have a local group coming in to teach classes for four of the five days, there were still plans about logistics that had to be made. I was able to get all that done yesterday so that I could focus on rest and relaxation for my week off.

I’m planning a trip for the first three days or so of my respite. I think sometimes it does a person good to get a geographical change and that’s what’s on the menu for me. I’m taking my camera with me and if the weather cooperates, hope to get some good pictures along the journey.

Once I’m back home, I’ll be doing quite a bit of work around the house to make it more presentable. I’ve gotten quite a few things for the house during my recent Saturday antique shopping adventures and need to figure out where to display it all. I’ve got some ideas on what I’d like for it to look like, but actually getting it done is a whole other story. We’ll see how that goes.

I will be doing quite a bit of reading and writing during the week off and yes, will do a bit of lesson planning for the week of school when I get back. It’s just a part of who I am and what I do.

David Lee

100 Days of Writing – Day Eighty-Five

This past year has been one that’s seen many changes in my life. Many of them occurred in May of last year and then once again, just a week before Christmas. As the first anniversaries of some of those events are just around the corner, I did some reflecting on how they’ve affected my life.

Indeed, my year has been filled with many ups and downs, mostly downs it would seem. But just as the season’s change is upon us, the events of the past have become dormant and new opportunities are availing themselves.

What you thought was your future life is laying in deep hibernation. In fact, truth be told, it is dead in the ground, never to return. But I also realize it’s because of that former life that I’ve been given the opportunities at present, only limited by my imagination.

I’ts not always to let go of what was, but to realize your true destiny, very necessary.

What happened on all fronts was supposed to be, a part of my destiny,,,,and now it’s time to move on.

I have to be truthful and say I’ve done a good job since that fateful December day. But I shouldn’t let it stop with what I’ve been able to do so far. There are more pearls to be found in this life of mine.

Life is meant to be enjoyed. Certain deaths of seasons in life have cleared the way for new possibilities. So just for today, enjoy where you’re at and live each day to the fullest.

David Lee

Daily Writing Prompt

Daily writing prompt
Who was your most influential teacher? Why?

My most influential teacher was my high school history teacher. Alas, it was not his history class that I most remember him for, but instead his caring attitude towards students. It just so happens he was also the junior varsity baseball team, of which I was a member.

The year I played on his team was less than illustrious. In our first game of the season, I was put in as a pinch-runner for the catcher. I attempted to steal second base and was thrown out by a full five steps. When I returned to the dugout, the coach asked, “Moser, why did you run?” I told him that I didn’t think the catcher had the ball. He replied, “Well, you can sit there and think about it for the rest of the game.” He might as well have said the rest of the season. I batted twice that year and was 0-2. It was my last year playing competitive baseball.

Many years later, after he had received a cancer diagnosis, I saw him at the high school basketball gym that had been named in his honor. We were both there for a basketball game and we exchanged pleasantries. During our conversation, he said, “Moser, you played for me back in ’75 didn’t you?” It astonished me that he remembered back that far, about twenty-five years, much less someone that had played such a minor role on the team.

That really impressed me that he could recall from all those years ago. It showed me that he did learn about each of his players/students and was indeed a caring person. It wasn’t too long after that event that he passed away. But he will forever be in my memory as a teacher who truly loved his students and players.

David Lee

Daily Writing Prompt

What makes you most anxious?

I would say that my uncertainty about the future causes me the most anxiety. I sometimes wake up in the morning to a myriad of anxious thoughts about the day ahead and my life in general. Sometimes the hamster wheel gets spinning so quickly, the only way to get it to stop is to get out of bed. I will say that I’ve gotten better with it over the past month or so, but it’s definitely not been easy.

100 Days of Writing – Day Eighty-Four

I have several sets of “oracle” or “tarot” cards that I will sometimes make a draw from to find out what it has to say. There are also online versions and the draw I made from one of those this evening was quite interesting and insightful.


Nothing is wasted

Protection Message: Do you wish you could run away from your past or deny your mistakes? “Not so fast,” says Vulture Spirit. You have gained something valuable from the experience.

Let your grief or anger move through you and soon your emotions will transform, for you will come to see that you have learned and grown. The alchemy of transformation is a gift from Spirit, so never disown what embarrassed, disappointed, or shamed you. It will soon be a source of great wisdom and strength as you work with the magic that allows miracles to be created out of sadness and beauty to arise from ugliness.

Vulture Spirit wants you to know that you embody beauty, and the alchemical transformation of the past is happening already. Hang in there; you are so loved, and so much beauty is waiting to come out of all of this.

Source: https://www.colettebaronreid.com/use-colettes-free-online-oracle-cards-app/

This past year has been one of many ups and downs in my life. During the month of May, I lost my dear dog Abby to cancer, got married, and had my mother die, all in the span of one week. To say it was an emotional month is putting it mildly. I dealt with it all the best I could and trusted that all would be well.

This year has been one of great changes in my life as well. I am once again getting acclimated to living life on my own and trying to make sense of all that’s occurred since those fateful months of May and December of last year. Some days are better than others and then there are days like yesterday when everything seems to be like the weather was, cold and dark.

Today’s reading that I’ve included above, seems to be speaking to me in a powerful way. I have heard that regardless of whether events in our lives are termed as being either good or bad, there are lessons to be learned that will help us down the road. So even though I’ve experienced great sadness and loss, I know that I’ll be stronger on the other side of it. Sometimes when you’re in the midst of it all, you can’t really see that. But I have faith that will be the case with me.

And just like yesterday’s cold and dreary rain will give way to today’s sun and blue skies, the difficult events of this past year will one day become steps for learning how to have a fulfilling life.

David Lee