Monday, April 16, 2012
Slow down, construction ahead!
It feels like in the recent past everything in my day to day life, no matter what I do, is about slowing down. I think it's probably true for any parent of young children. Some things just can't be hurried, one has to take them as they come, when they come. But there is always a part of me that is screaming to do everything NOW, teach the kids EVERYTHING TODAY, finish every project on the list IMMEDIATELY, write everyhting that I want to write RIGHT NOW or the inner naysayer continues, it will NEVER happen, it will NEVER get done, do it all and do it now, now,now, right now... I think Someone is trying to teach me something. I have no choice but to slow down and the truth be told, that pace suits me much better and suits the children much better. One has to take time to construct lives, to shape personalities one step, one conversation, one kindness, one battle, one struggle, one right choice or action at a time. I am reminded of the epic meeting between Yakov (Jacob) and his brother Eisav (Esau). Travel with me, says Eisav, let us go together, but Yakov answers, that he can't. Go ahead, I'll catch up with you later, I have to move slower, for the children are small and tender. Don't worry we'll meet up at the end. How profound! Slow down, there is construction to be done ahead. Don't rush, you'll get there at the right time. Slow down, do the necessary painstaking work now. Maybe that's another way to understand that there are those that acquire their World (to come) in one moment, for some perhaps it's one moment and then another one moment. Good things in life require patience and perseverence and hard work. There is no free lunch. Sometimes one has to sow with tears in order to eventually reap with joy. One tends to forget sometimes. The western culture of today is very much about getting everything now, instant gratification or else. Isn't everything I am trying to do in my life and to teach to my children the exact opposite of that message. But how often do I find myself falling into the NOW trap anyway? So much in our daily lives is about this message to slow down but it is also so true about Jewish history, about Israel today, about the Geula (Redemption). Slow down, do what needs to be done, don't worry, there is construction ahead, even if it doesn't feel like it at all, even when things seemed to be turned on their heads, even when the going is slow and painful, maddeningly so, even when it feels more like a destruction, there is construction ahead. I have no desire to wish these moments away, I just have to keep reminding myself to try and rise up to the occasion again and again, reassure myself that I will get where I need to go, gradually and that's the way it was meant to be. Slow and steady, that's the secret to G-dliness. Simple and yet so difficult. Good, now it's time to get to the hard and slow work of constructing. It just occured to me, that actually, it's a very timely message for the sefira period, which is all about incremental growth leading up to the acceptance of the Torah on Shavuos.