This past Shabbat the Israelites finally crossed the Sea of Reeds, as I mentioned a few days ago, and at services the rabbi wondered why God made them take the long way around. Forty years is an awfully long detour. Commentators say it's because God wanted us to learn patience—there's a right time for everything, and we can't rush it. We do what we need to do when we're ready to do it, and must grow in order to get there. God knew the Israelites needed forty years before they'd stop kvetching and be ready for a new life.
I'm in the midst of trying to stop procrastinating about a few big things, and so found the rabbi's words comforting. I really want to do those things, and know I will, but sometimes get angry at myself for taking so long. That doesn't help one bit. I need to take a deep breath, remember to like myself, and concentrate on how good I'll feel when I achieve my goal.
But there will come a point when I need to say, this is it: go. Parashat Beshalah teaches us that lesson, as well:
Our sages point to an interesting fact. The miracle didn't happen until the first person jumped into the water. Why didn't G-d perform the miracle before he jumped in? To teach us that at times G-d waits for us to do our part; to take that leap of faith and then G-d does His part.
— From TorahFax
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