This weekend we have been privileged to have Boaz Michael and his family be with our community. We have really enjoyed being with them, and look forward to a great day today in the culmination of the FFOZ seminar Knocking on Heaven’s Gates tonight.
Having Boaz and his family has already been a tremendous blessing. Seeing the self-discipline of his family, however, has been both a huge inspiration as well as a little bit of a discouragement. The inspiration is obvious. Boaz and his family are an incredible encouragement in all that they are doing to live out their faith, and help those who are living a Torah-pursuant life.
The discouragement aspect is not the fault of Boaz and his family at all. It’s like running a 100 mile race, and reaching the first mile marker. The thrill of the race, and the excitement of the first milestone are motivating, but realizing that you’ve got 99 more of these to go is slightly disheartening. Seeing where Boaz and his family are and then looking back at where we are as a family and a community could easily open a floodgate of tears if I dwelt on this aspect alone. However, I know that I must not focus on the distance, but on the destination, and enjoy the journey in the process. Otherwise, the journey will be unbearable, and the destination unreachable.
Jason’s post, Inspiration that Creates Action, is a good summary of what I’m feeling. I (and also “we” as an infant Torah community) are making what feels like gigantic leaps on the one hand, but on the other hand they are merely baby-steps. I have an internal struggle that wants so badly to be in close proximity to those who are further along this road than I in order to excel in my learning and my application of Torah, but I know that Hashem is growing me at this pace for a purpose. Maybe I’m not as ready for something like this as I think I am. Maybe I’m not as malleable as I think I am, and would merely snap with all of the stretching that would be required in an environment like that. Maybe I just have a different calling and purpose. Whatever the case, I must keep in mind the words of Rav Sha’ul, which states:
But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Messiah Yeshua. (Philippians 3:13b,14)