Disturb us, Adonai, ruffle us from our complacency;
Make us dissatisfied. Dissatisfied with the peace of ignorance...
Presumably because there was not already enough radical change in my life, life has sent more change my way. And although I was prepared for its possibility, and handled it with as much calm and grace as I could muster, it has still thrown me for a quiet loop. Not because I didn't see it coming, but because it is challenging me to look at other parts of my life that I may need to change in order to adapt to the new realities that might come my way.
Jewish prayer is based on keva -- the prayers we've written down and saved and canonized over the centuries so that they make up the routine of our worship. But keva alone changes nothing, solves nothing. In order for prayers to be real and meaningful, we are taught that we must infuse them with kavanah -- the intention of our hearts -- when we pray. We need to think about what we're saying, we need to be really mindful about the words coming from our mouths so that they also come from our hearts. So they match the words coming from our hearts. This past year has been one of radical discomfort -- with myself, with the way I'd thought about things for a long time -- and with the status quo I seem to encounter in every new adventure along my path. I cannot change what's out there unless I change what's inside me first. And so, in the midst of all this change, I have come to a place where I am better equipped to handle -- you guessed it -- more change.
I am being asked to look at the last year and consider all that has changed in me, and all that has changed in my life and work. How much of the tradition -- keva -- can I lean on for support in times of radical discomfort? And how much must I turn to my gut, my heart -- my kavanah -- for clues about the best way to proceed? It's a balancing act, like so much in life.
I am in the throes of a cosmic gut-check. I hope that answers will come, and that when they do I will hear them. Meanwhile, I am uncomfortable. I am listening. I hope something good will come along soon.