An Interesting Year
There is a famous Chinese curse, which roughly translated, goes like this: “May you live in interesting times.” At the beginning of this Jewish year, living with social distance, we might also ponder…how interesting will our year be?
Of course, our lives can be interesting not only in negative ways but in positive ways, too. Children are born, lovers become husbands and wives, babies take their first steps, special anniversaries are celebrated. But just as easily accidents can happen, a virus can strike and death can take a loved one. All in all, it very well may be better to have an uninteresting year.
During this High Holiday season, we may ponder the highs and lows of our lives. We may ask ourselves how far we have come, how far we yet have to go. We may recognize our struggles and we may rejoice in our accomplishments. We may concentrate on the events that stand out…on every interesting and extraordinary moment.
But we would be wise to appreciate the everyday, very uninteresting moments of our lives as well. There is our family whom we love and who loves us. There are our friends who we are thankful to have when we are alone. There is the food that we enjoy, the books we read, the movies on television we see, the bed we lay down upon when we go to sleep at night. Were we to describe to a publisher any of these moments or people, they might present too dull a plot. They might not be deemed to be interesting. But oh, how important they really are!
The religious life is not lived on the top of mountains or in a constant gaze at ocean waves. The religious life is lived in the everyday moments that give meaning to our lives. Life is to be appreciated when the stranger smiles, when the baby extends its arms toward us, when we open the door of our houses to meet a new day. Every day we should be thanking God for what is ordinary in our lives.
Nancy and I wish you and those you love a year of happiness and good health.