Sometimes we are in times of our lives that are so busy, so demanding, that we can barely think about Shabbat. Or it’s combined with that wonderful feeling, “ Finally, the weekend!” Or sometimes we feel like we’re going 24/7 even then, so Shabbat just gets swept along with every other day of things needing to be done, or nothing special. Making it to services is definitely a start, and a very important one. Yet I’m deepening my understanding of the richness in our lives when we begin to see that going to Shabbat services is just the tip of the glorious iceberg.
So many seasons in our lives. . . And at my age, I can say that along with the happy times I’ve also lived through most of the others, too, including times of great sorrow, physical challenges, loss of loved ones. As our lives extend in time, they also grow in experiences, and as a result, hopefully in wisdom, or at least, in perspective.
And so it is that in this season of my life, from my perspective, most everything seems to be connected, one event or realization often leading to a surprise connection with another, like unwrapping a candy and finding the special center. Life is as a beautiful tapestry made of vibrant diversity. All of these interwoven happenings suggest, and feel as if reveal, His Divine Presence at work in it all, sometimes behind the scene, sometimes quite apparently creating this perfect portrait of the life we have been given and which we co-create. The feeling of perfection comes not from the actual events, for sometimes they are quite painful. Rather that feeling comes from knowing He is in it with us, and that what we do, our choices or how we deal with adversity, will be shaped, and caressed, by His loving hands. We become aware of the reality that all that we do is connected through our centering our lives in Him.
Starting several months ago after Jerry’s passing, Cheryl (Chaya), my sister Wendy (Yosie), and I (Zelda) started a little daily morning check-in using the voice text feature on our IPhones just to say good morning, and share the mundane and the miraculous times we had experienced that morning or recently. We also help each other process situations in our lives. Most often we listen to each other’s messages not in real time but at some point in the day, or even the next day, and share thoughts, observations, and encouragements. Nothing big. Just little times to touch base with each other, and be accountable to one another.
At first these were more to process the loss of our dear brother Jerry, but over time, and especially during that time frame, these “conversations” always brought wisdom from Scripture and Psalms to mind, the inevitable result leading to incredible discussions through voice texts. These were and continue to be times of feeling the presence of HaShem viscerally with us, the palpable presence of Yeshua holding our hands and guiding us. Over the months we’ve continued to have our daily check-ins, now the source of new praise song ideas, incredible insights to our daily challenges, always the forum for discussion about Him. Everything in our lives seems to relate to Yeshua! So although not an official havruta, we have become like one, and in so doing, just by daily living in this way we are learning how to walk Jewish lives in Yeshua, quite organically experiencing some of the Daily Jewish Living Initiative which is part of our Ruach theme this year.
Chaya, Yosie, and I didn’t really plan or think of our actions so deliberately as part of this organized initiative. So too, experiencing the Daily Dvar has seamlessly woven its subject matter into our discussions, even into my waiting area recently at the Dallas airport where I just put on my headphones and was transported (without a plane!) to His arms even amid the hurry/scurry of my surroundings.
So too, as I had recently listened to the story of creation in Genesis and watched my young grandson’s relationship with my daughter and her husband during my visit, did I have a new depth of understanding of HaShem as our Father akin to our co-creation and nurturing of children and grandchildren. He gives us these human experiences of parenting and grandparenting, that knowledge that we would die for our children and their children, do anything for them, as a glimpse of His infinite, sacrificial love for us.
As I live with so many touchpoints to the Divine so intricately a part of our daily living in Yeshua, I am recognizing that the more we make choices to interface with God, the more we do. And blessedly we have so many choices! And the more we choose to do so, we begin to see new aspects of our lives and how they intersect with those with whom we share our journey, all these actions bringing Him nearer to us, the weave in our tapestry ever growing.
My touchpoint list is growing – jogging with Messianic Jewish worship music, morning Shachrit, havruta conversations, Daily Dvar – all of these leading me to see and experience Him in our daily lives even moreso than I did before! Without my having to do anything to create the opportunity! They’re just waiting for me, from Him, facilitated by our amazing Rabbis and leaders, blessed connections being nurtured and taking root in our community. The more I choose to connect, the more my spirit is opened to His Holy Spirit as my walk with Him just becomes closer and deeper organically. And as that happens, as the dividing line between daily living in the secular and in Him touch, our lives experience the truth of His existence, His active involvement in every aspect of our lives, His pleasure, and challenges, in raising us, His children.
As we understand this dynamic, we are incentivized to do even more, to want more of Him. The next step for me is to once again dive into learning Hebrew. Although I have studied it at multiple times and have the basics down, I’m ready to work even harder to get deeper into intermediate level and be able to pray and read Scripture in this holy language. Through the MIM (Maturing in Messiah) class I’ve also learned the value of study together in addition to independently, and the richness of multiple teachers. Can’t wait to start those Hebrew classes!
With so many ways to connect to the Divine, to make daily living anything but mundane, how can we not choose these roads that only lead to light and love in a world that otherwise tends to lead us in many directions that drag us down rather than raise us up? How blessed we are to be offered so many opportunities for lives that make us soar in joy for we can see so much more than what appears as we peek through even a corner of His lens of Divine love!
Gifts beyond measure! Gifts given to all of us just waiting to be enjoyed. Yours are in your hands, just waiting to be opened.