Life includes turbulence, our schedules include transitions and often times we find ourselves in positions of transience.
Do those feel like moments wasted? Do they feel like opportunities squandered?
How do you handle those situations that disrupt your schedule? How do you deal with obstacles on your path?
When plans do not go your way, what then?
Rabbi Avrohom Glick and his wife were meant to move from the US to Australia for a teaching position that had opened there. Once they began preparing for the move, they felt unpurposeful in their current job. They were not yet gone, but their mind was elsewhere. They felt neither here nor there.
During a meeting with the Rebbe, Rabbi Glick confided his state of mind, and the Rebbe responded:
In the Torah (this week’s portion) we find that during the forty years the Jews were wandering in the wilderness, they would sometimes stay in a place for just one day, yet they would go through the tremendous trouble of setting up the Tabernacle- (the traveling desert sanctuary)- each and every time.
The Tabernacle was a formidable structure, consisting of hundreds of foundation sockets, wall sections, pillars, tapestries and furnishing; a work crew of several thousand Levites assembled the Sanctuary at each camp, and dismantled and transported it when the Divine command would come to move on. Yet it was erected at every encampment- even if it was only for a single day!
The Talmud derives many laws from this, including the principle that if you find yourself in a place even for just one day, it is as though you are fixed there permanently.
Each and every one of our “stations” in life is significant unto itself. A person may find himself in a certain place or situation for a very brief period, and it may seem to him that he is merely “on the way” to some other place. Yet there is always something in that place or situation to be sanctified- something that can serve as a meeting place between heaven and earth.
One should never live their life as though they are standing with a packed suitcase ready to go.
There is no in-between time. Every step is a destination of it’s own. This perspective is especially helpful when we find ourselves in front of obstacles, detours and disruptions to our original plans.
Make the most of those moments, because that is exactly where you are meant to be at that given time.
Wishing you a Shabbat Shalom.