Rocks, A Rebbetzin and Renewal

What is it about skipping rocks across a creek that is so therapeutic? The beginning of this week started with a much needed getaway — an overnight camping trip to northwest Arkansas with another family from our congregation. No computer. No cell phone (the battery conveniently died). The weather, although frigid at night, was perfect during the day and I could have quite happily spent the next few weeks doing nothing but hiking trails with my family and throwing rock after rock into a creek that never seemed to tire of my fruitless toil.

The trip was a renewal in many ways. However, the primary renewal came in the stillness and slowness of everything around me (except for my children, that is). It was a time of contemplation, prayer, meditation and re-evaluation. It was a time of inspiration and awe of the hand of Hashem on His creation.

I spent most of my time relishing in the stillness of the day and being inspired by the thought-provoking illustrations of The Committed Life by Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis. I’ve mentioned it before, but I can’t recommend this book enough. I had first read it a little over two years ago, and began re-reading it the last week or so. I took it with me on the trip and it served as a source of inspiration and reminder of all that Hashem wishes that we should become, and how it should affect those around us.

Being in that environment was a good reminder of Yeshua’s parable about the different types of soils (Matthew 13) and how I had somehow become the soil of the thorny ground, and that I had been allowing the “worries of life” and “the deceitfulness of making ends meet” (because it surely wasn’t wealth) choke out my zest for life. This week I have a renewed hope and vision, as well as a fresh perspective on Torah as a result of taking a moment to put a halt on the busyness of life and throw a few rocks in a creek with my children. What will it take for you?

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