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Saturday, April 5th, 2008 at 13:21 ET

Has anyone else been watching Eli Stone? I try hard not to watch too much TV, so I avoid geting hooked-on new shows. There are plenty of good shows that I’m already engaged in — and a few bad ones to boot. This new show, however, Eli Stone is something I’m glad that I took some time to watch.

For those of you who haven’t seen it, the premise is pretty simple: there’s this guy (Eli Stone) who starts experiencing strange, immersive visions. He finds out that he has an inoperable brain aneurysm and seeks help from an acupuncturist who thinks perhaps the visions are more than just random expression of a mishmosh of insignificant imaginations of his subconscious. He calls Eli a prophet (something Eli’s not particularly comfortable with), an through a series of uncanny events, Eli comes to think that maybe, just maybe, something special is happening to him.

And here’s where the show gets compelling, because it really seems like something special is happening. It doesn’t always work out with a happily-ever-after for him, and he can’t keep the faith that he may really be a prophet, but the things that happen to Eli and the ways they link together are too uncanny to be just a brain disease. It really seems like he’s getting some guidance.

There are moments in this show that just reach out and grab me. First, his visions seem to revolve around (although not exclusively) music, something near and dear to my heart. Then there are times when the events in Eli’s life relate directly to the visions he’s having in a way that just makes my heart yearn. I’m guessing it’s been popular because it has that affect on other people too. How great would it be to have someone walk up to you and introduce themselves as the person you were dreaming about helping just last night? How could you ignore a message written in children’s alphabet blocks that seems to be just for you?

So here’s the hitch: even with all the help he’s getting from his visions, things aren’t working out perfectly for Eli. His life has become very, very complicated. At least a third of the time he’s not even sure he believes in what’s happening to him. His relationships keep getting messed up; despite the visions, he keeps making the wrong decisions; his career has basically gone up in smoke; and worst of all, the visions can be a little disturbing. Maybe I wouldn’t want to be Eli after all…

…who am I kidding? I sure would!

As an episode comes to a close, however, I think there’s a bigger point. Watch carefully. What’s so special about Eli, anyway? Is it his disease? Is it his messed-up relationship with his crazy, late father? Is it the fact that he gets special guidance from his visions that make it simple to figure out what to do next?

No, it’s not — none of those things make Eli particularly different from you or I. What’s cool about the show is that it demonstrates the need to pay attention to the signs. We need to look for them and listen to them and trust them. We’re not always going to interpret the omens right — even if they were full-blown, immersive visions we probably wouldn’t get it right all the time. But the signs are there on the road, and you’re going to have a better, safer journey if you mind them.

You and I are prophets too, if we want to be.

Filed under: Spirituality and Faith

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