With the 2021 New Year recently upon us, many of us found ourselves feeling inspired and seeking to make changes in our lives – whether financially, in our relationships, our health habits, or in our spirituality.
Unfortunately, as genuinely inspired as we may feel as the calendar rolls to a new year, many of us soon become disillusioned and abandon our newfound passion for additional commitments.
We might say: “Wait a minute — I already have enough commitments; there simply isn’t time in the day or the week to add more. Better to stick with what I’m doing, instead of committing to something that I have no time for.”
Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
This attractive argument takes a toll on each of us, appealing to our sense of pragmatism. Little by little, this “logic” works its magic until the desire to build on our accomplishments is extinguished.
Wouldn’t you agree that’s a sad ending to a New Year season that started with so much promise?
In the remainder of this article, I’ll let you in on my secret:
We can defy these powerful forces of momentum-killing inertia by making sure our additional, new commitments have an element of spirituality or goodness at their core.
Let’s examine a passage in the Talmud to take a deeper look at what I’m talking about.
Throughout the Talmud, the Sages explain in fantastic detail many of the miracles that took place in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. In one particularly well-known passage, the Talmud and its commentators discuss the physical dimensions of the Holy of Holies — and the Ark of the Covenant that was placed inside of it.
After some old-fashioned number crunching, the conclusion is reached that the Ark of the Covenant miraculously took up no space within the Holy of Holies.
What does this have to do with our New Year dilemma? And what are we supposed to learn from this miracle?
The answer is that in a place of goodness, holiness, and bona fide personal growth, there is always room for more!
All of us are involved, albeit to differing degrees, in worthwhile pursuits. Every single one of us is involved in bringing some sanctity into our daily lives, or giving back to others. Therefore, each of us is already a miniature Holy of Holies, as it were.
The lesson we learn here is that no matter what level of activity we are engaged in today, there is always room to add even more of ‘the good stuff!’
Many people sincerely want to add more acts of kindness, spend more time with their family, or engage in even more charitable acts. Yet many of these same people feel that it will not fit into the “dimensions” of a lifestyle already crammed with other worthwhile pursuits.
Next time you find yourself thinking in this manner, don’t get hung up on the details. Just do it anyway. Many people have taken the leap of faith and added quality commitments where there was seemingly no room for them, and our Creator has never disappointed them.
The impossible is not expected of us. Our job is to do good. And if the only way that an authentic and meaningful life will fit into our already-hectic existence is by an open miracle — so that the new pursuits “take up no space” — so be it.
If we keep our end of the bargain, our Creator will most certainly keep His.