I believe in community, especially being connected to the local community of faith and to others who work for positive changes in this world. After all, being Jewish, at the very heart of keeping the Torah and God's commandments is a lasting optimism that despite how small or large the contribution, one person CAN change the world for the better...Tikkun Olam, the repair of the world. It is a partnership with God Himself to transform what is in reach for the better, in ways we might never realize but that becomes a life richer with kindness and hope.
I wanted to state that as a preface for the statement that when walking that particular lifestyle of choice (it is a daily choice, after all), there are the lonely times. It doesn't mean we're alone in actuality, in the big picture, or even in actuality in the smaller picture...our lives touch so many others we don't realize. But there are times when the ones we love, our family or friends and dear ones, for whatever reason, just aren't there or can't be engaged as much as we'd like in a certain time period or moment. There are lonely times, and sometimes lonelier as our daily choices remove us from the stream of life that seems to sweep the majority along, but we're on a different path, it seems...a true definition of not being in the Main Stream. Sometimes this is because of our lifestyle, especially for those who daily try to walk with God, when that diverges us not even by our own will, from others. And sometimes it's just because in matters such as simplicity, or life differences, we feel a bit like throwbacks, a little displaced in time and mindset...and yet preferring to remain so for wisdom's sake, to keep our equilibrium, stick to goals, keep family and the day-to-day on track with simplicity and priorities.
Sometimes we just need encouragement when we FEEL alone. I know I do, and I know I'm not actually alone, but connected to a large and wonderful community. But I still feel alone at times when my choices keep me on a Path Less Traveled.
It seems our times are a testing ground for what is truly inside us, what "makes a man." Integrity and morality, the true kind we need at the heart to guide our attitudes and actions to others and to continually re-create community and society, are at stake. Sometimes it feels like stepping out of that quickly-moving mainstream is itself an act of resistance, or perceived as some sort of weirdness or rebellion. But I am rambling now...
Anyway, I saw this short video tonight, and it was just what I needed. And I love reading the Psalms. I don't write that much on this particular blog about the role personal belief and the love of the Torah has to do with the other parts of my life, but in truth they are inseparable from the whole. I don't want or need a soapbox, but I don't want to feel I can never put my thoughts about them here from time to time, either. In all Jack and I strive to do or be in this life, at the very heart of it is God, and not in what most folks think of as "religious-ness". We were caught up in groups in the past we're glad to have moved on from ourselves, but in the times in which we live, we need the truth of God's instruction and correction, and have experienced so much gratitude, provision, and blessing from Him. We are nothing but grateful!
Here's a short video (no, it's not evangelistic ;-)) that encouraged me tonight. The times in which we live DOES require choices and will continue to do so, and there is such a thing as right and wrong. Here's to the times when the RIGHT choices put us a bit outside the main and we feel alone. Those are times we realize everything hinges right back to that most basic relationship, for us, between us and God. Just like it all started with God walking with man in His garden.
How grateful we are to God for His continued goodness to us, and for giving us instruction to walk simply from day to day...