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Dancing with the Divine

Friday, 28 June, 2019 - 10:22 am

Self-sufficient or Dependent?

We strive for the former.

Think of your most vulnerable moment. A time when your security nets were insufficient, and it seemed like there was no one to catch you. That pit-in-your- stomach despair is a feeling nobody wants to experience.

At the same time, it’s great to be cared for. Remember a time you were embraced by someone who had the power to handle your problems; someone who loved you and was wholly concerned with your welfare.  Like a parent caring for a baby. Safety at its best.

But that scenario can present its own challenges: Firstly, the recipient of this protective cover may often take it for granted. How do you feel the gratitude of the rescue if you haven’t had an opportunity to feel the threat? In addition, of the protection is truly effective, we may relax our own efforts while basking in the sheltering shade.

Watch small children. They usually have no idea what we’re doing to protect them, and they take their security for granted. And the more we coddle them, the more we potentially disempower their own efforts at achieving genuine security.

Think of American society pre 9/11. Most of us took our safety from terrorism for granted, and there seemed little need for personal efforts at self-protection. Then we woke up to the truth of our vulnerability.

Safety vs. Vulnerability.

Two poles in our delicate dance with G-d.

G-d is our Rock, our ultimate security. When you genuinely trust G-d, you sleep easier.

 Yet we can’t take G-d’s protection for granted. We need to recognize humanity’s intrinsic frailty, thank G-d for His protection, do what we can to help ourselves, and trust the Divine for the future.

G-d gave the Jews an important model for life during their years in the desert. They went to bed without any food for the next day (feeling vulnerable). Yet they firmly trusted that the manna would fall the next morning and satisfy their needs.

We’re out of the desert, thank G-d, but our framework is still there. We need to recognize our inherent vulnerability, even as trust in G-d’s protective care. The spiritually-connected person doesn’t get up in the morning feeling invincible because G-d will safeguard him/her. We take pause to recognize acknowledge our intrinsic vulnerability, then we thank G-d for our blessings, finding trust and confidence for the day ahead.  Because we know we’re not alone.

We’re expecting good things. With a sense of gratitude and humility.

A great attitudinal recipe for a meaningful day.

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