How easy would life be if we had a clear sense of direction? Modern life is so filed with increasing challenges that our minds and hearts are almost permanently distracted.
How can we transcend the noise and rediscover the clarity that so resonates deep down within us.
As always we begin our search with the timeless narrative between man and G-d as recorded in this week’s Torah portion. This verse begins with a sentence that is immensely profound and insightful yet at the same time deeply mysterious and ambiguous. It is this verse that most accurately captures the nature of the journey of the Jewish people.
We will try and unlock just one of its many mysteries.
In describing the journey of the first Jew, G-d says to Abraham “Go forth, from your land, your birth-place and your father’s house, to the land which I will show you”.
The question begs to be asked, in giving someone directions, surely one must offer more details about the destination then the starting point? Why here is it the exact reverse?
The Lubavitcher Rebbe offers a most penetrating insight. He explains that when taking a physical journey this is certainly true because we have a clear perception of our destination since we live in the material world. However with regard to a spiritual journey - since we don’t live in those realms and are not naturally conditioned to those paradigms - the reverse is true. A sense of direction therefore is gained more by an understanding of one’s current conditions and their inherent limitations then by a detailed description of the destination.
This then is the secret behind finding ones path in life as a Jew and gaining a clearer sense of direction. It’s not about a clear vision of the course that lies ahead, but about a clear understanding of our current condition and the weaknesses we posses and the courage we have to transcend their clutches.
To put it in more applicable terms. Our journey in life is about moving beyond our selfish concerns and considerations towards a life that is dedicated to a cause which is greater than ourselves.
To move constantly beyond our comfort zones. To be vigilant about the constant gravitational pull which compels us to find self interest in everything we do for others.
You may ask....
What’s going to happen if I think less of myself and more about others?
What’s going to happen to me if I give more of my precious time to others?
What’s going to happen if I give more of my hard earned money to others?
Yes it may be a journey towards the unknown.
However it is the only way we can reach our destination.