by Devora Gila Berkowitz
Lincoln-Douglas debating is child's play compared to Avraham's argument with G-d in our parsha. Persisting for almost ten whole verses (Bereshit, 18:23-32) he tries to dissuade Him from destroying the evil city of Sodom. Avraham insists that if righteous people currently inhabit Sodom, then it should be spared.
Let's imagine that Sodom represents any negative situation from your past. Not just anything, but the ugliest, ickiest, most horrific or embarrassing, guilt-ridden thought that may still inhabit your consciousness.
Believe it or not, in that memory lies a spark of positive energy. A redeeming factor: a good intention, a worthwhile cause, an innocent beginning. If anything, the "good point" in this memory is the fact that it brought you to where you are today in your life: the home and family you've created, your list of accomplishments, and your dreams, hopes and visions in potential, waiting for the right time to be manifested.
So rather than waiting for parts of your life to decay in the cellar of your consciousness, raise them up with the help of Avraham, who insists that a spark of righteousness lies within.