I know everyone is busy. From the endless work commitments to the juggling of children’s schedules and appointments. There is always something else that needs to be done. In this age of fast-paced technology, the speed of information flow is almost instantaneous. On the one hand, it enables us to do things quicker and provides greater reach and opportunity. Yet on the other, it thrusts upon us many more demands and often sends us running round in circles. How many of us feel constantly under the pump and await the day when we can finally start living?
This week we will conclude the fourth book of the Torah in the readings of Parashiot Matot and Masei. The last Parasha Masei begins by recounting the route that the Jewish nation travelled from Egypt all the way to the Promised land. The word Masei literally means journeys which implies that the people were on the move. Yet the content in the beginning of the Parasha speaks about the encampments that the people made. It names the 42 destinations along the way and recounts what occurred in a number of those places.
This dichotomy of moving and stopping, travelling and encamping, is a metaphor for our own sojourn in life. In search of our promised land we often find ourselves traveling along many paths and encountering many challenges. At times, we feel that we are stumbling under our burdens. During others, we experience minor victories that brings to greater learning and personal growth.
The challenge for us is to see our journeys as an integral part of our destination and the destination inside every step of the journey. Instead of wishing the days away, we can live a full life through appreciating that every moment contains opportunity for self growth and perfection. Perhaps when we feel ourselves at the busiest point in our day we must pause to reflect. Life is not what will happen one day in the future. It is happening right now. The person I am today will be the person that I end up becoming.
Rabbi Yossi Friedman