I recently watched and highly recommend American Masterpieces’ episode featuring Carole King which aired on PBS last week. Carole King was a popular musical artist during my formative years, but I had no idea until I watched the show what a prolific songwriter she was as well.
In addition to her extraordinary talent, Ms. King’s personal story was so moving. Yes, being a Jewish girl of that generation, I identified with much of her perspective, and with some of the painful losses and trials of her life. I could relate to how she must have felt when she left NYC for LA after her divorce. I never planned to leave Ohio. . .
Her years in LA were a musical peak in her career, a time when she met and performed with James Taylor and Joni Mitchell, also there during the early ’70s, an enchanted time together that would not have occurred had she stayed in NYC. Her next move was to Idaho, of all places for a Brooklyn born Jewish girl, to be with a man in her life at that time. Although that relationship was abusive and ended tragically, to this day Carole King lives in and loves Idaho and is an activist for legislation protecting the northern Rocky Mountain natural resources.
Watching another’s life in an hour-long summary puts an interesting perspective on our lives. All of the happy and sad times move in fast forward, the lessons learned easy to see. But our lives are not TV vignettes. During challenging times when we live each painful day, the lemonade from lemon effect is not apparent for many years if at all. Sometimes the struggles seem endless.
It’s at those times that we have to remember that what seems like forever for us may be as a one hour blink to Him. Surely Carole King found solace in her music during her times of sadness. Each of us have been given gifts and activities that are healing – writing, weaving, creating or listening to music, baking, walking, fixing things, being in nature, crying, most importantly, praying.
We are often in situations we didn’t choose, move to places we never planned to live, and yet they turn out to be blessings. For our lives are not our own. They are part of His divine plan, with our choices factored in to create a surprise in retrospect as we look back at our lives and often realize the unanticipated change was for the good. I surely know I am grateful every day that I live in New England. I am grateful for my husband Sid who was a major impetus for my move, for my Ruach community, for my closeby family, and for all the work I can do here to advance the understanding of Messianic Judaism by our New England Jewish brothers and sisters. Had you asked me what my plan was in 2001, it was to live in Ohio happily ever after.
Our lives are on loan, a journey to bring our souls closer to Him and to leave the world a better place than we found it. HaShem is there to pick up the pieces when circumstances or our own choices move us away from those goals. Bringing Him closer when we are knocked off course can help us to see beyond the present feelings of strife and hurt. Seeking His healing, serving others with His love, and deeply drawing Him near in prayer will get us through, more than that, will enable us to feel His Love through it all. It is in our failings that He feels the closest if we seek Him, for at those times He manifests Himself through Yeshua to walk mightifully with us through our tribulations. And yes, He still will love us tomorrow.