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Monday, October 17, 2011

To stand where Moses stood...

Decided to come back to reading the Torah since my life has been so topsy-turvy lately. Good news: I mended the fences with my friend. Bad news: my car stopped working and isn't worth fixing. What's worse...unless the universe smiles upon me with mystery money, I will be without a car for a month.

After I read this week's parsha, I couldn't really think about what it meant to me, but after getting started on this post and reflecting on the g-dcast video from youtube, I have a couple ideas.

First off, I need to resurrect my ability to keep "the long view" in mind. If I am so blessed, it will not matter 50 years from now that I was really hurt by a friend's unconscious words, that I didn't have a car for a month, and had to inconvenience my friends and relatives for rides. I will remember that I was able to forgive and to apologize, and that people were there for me when I needed them.

Things that will matter to me 50 years from now (when I would be about to turn 82, G-d willing):
1.) Did I conquer my fear of singing?
2.) Did I find someone to share my life with?
3.) Do I have a good relationship with my family?
4.) Did I plan well enough to meet my basic needs?
5.) Did I finally learn how to keep my room/car tidy? (If I don't have a cleaning lady by then..)

Reading the account of Moses' death really put my problems into a proper perspective. It still shocks me how a backsliding Agnostic like myself is finding so many worthwhile passages in the Bible (as well as the troubling ones I already knew about.) The jury is still out with me as far as how literal the Torah/Bible is, but I felt touched by the words,
"Never again did there arise in Israel a prophet like Moses--whom the LORD singled out, face to face, for the various signs and portents that the LORD sent him to display in the land of Egypt." (Deuteronomy 34:10-11)

I feel as though so many people I know want to have grand, remarkable lives, especially people I tend to spend the most time with. (Myself included.) Of course, no one strives and hopes for the unremarkable, but along the way, so many give up, or are so focused on the unrealistic goal of being a wealthy celebrity that they lose the focus they needed to actually achieve something remarkable.

I'm beginning to think about what makes for a remarkable life, in my eyes. Although I don't expect to see G-d face to face, as Moses did, I hope to be a person who learned to be conscious of my actions, without being hindered by self-consciousness. Like Moses, I hope to have a long and healthy life. Like Moses, I want to deliver people from bondage, but in more figurative ways, such as kids like me who were bullied and teased, and adults like me who learned not to let their light shine bright, but instead to install a dimmer switch.

I feel optimistic that elevating my consciousness and listening to my inner voice will lead me where I need to go. Reading the Torah, I've learned, won't hurt either. I hope that I live my life with constant awareness that one day I will stand on my own Mount Nebo, and that I cast aside petty disputes, rise above trivial annoyances, and find the strength to fight the true battles that need to be fought.

That might be the key to a remarkable life.

Here's the video that got me thinking . . .

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