Message for the Week from Rabbi Stein

Who is in Control?

Rabbi Jay M. Stein on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 at 12:00:00 am

Mishna Avot 3:15

EVERYTHING IS FORESEEN BUT THE RIGHT OF CHOICE IS GRANTED, AND THE WORLD IS JUDGED WITH GOODNESS, AND EVERYTHING IS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PREPONDERANCE OF MAN'S DEEDS.

I wish I knew what was going to happen. I wish I knew how my life would unfold and what would become of my family, friends and career. I have some ideas about the future based on my current trajectory, but there are many potential outcomes.  And there are still many variables for which I cannot account. This is not just my story but everyone’s. Or is it?

Do we really want to know what lies ahead?  Do we really want to know how our story will develop?  Or is watching the narrative advance, one of the great wonders in life?  Anticipation can be energizing. I can envision the many possibilities for my future, for my family’s, our congregation’s. I am excited by what can be. If I knew the reality, I might be a little less inclined towards working to it. I might be less  involved in attaining the outcome. Not knowing keeps me engaged.

As always our Mishna offers us a choice. We can live in dread of what will be; or we can openly embrace the infinite possibilities of the world that we are creating with God.