Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Hope Finds A Way

The Sheheyanu:
Finally, let me share with you the one last blessing for this morning, the sheheyanu. We bless God who has kept us alive, who has sustained us and who has enabled us to reach this season.

I had begun to think recently that these three terms: keeping us alive, sustaining us and enabling us to reach this season speak of the three ages of human beings, First, we are children awe-struck by the world and grateful for being alive. Then, we are middle aged adults struggling to remain stable within the direction we have set for ourselves thankful for being sustained. Finally, we are elderly individuals grateful for just reaching a new day.

That’s a nice interpretation. But, I have been inspired by words I heard this year to look at it differently. Our lives need to be a combination of all of those every day. We must never give up the thrill of being alive, always seek to find our direction and be grateful at the end of each day, knowing we have navigated the dangers of life successfully.

I credit this understanding of the Sheheyanu to a quotation I heard from a former astronaut, Pinky Nelson, commenting on flying the space shuttle after the tragedy of the Columbia.

He said: "You really have three things going on at once. There’s the professional astronaut that’s cool and calm and watching the instruments. There’s the little kid who’s got a ticket to Disneyland is having the ride of a lifetime. And there’s the older person looking over your shoulder trying to take it all in. You know if you’re not scared during a shuttle launch, then you don’t appreciate what’s going on."

If we’re not scared during life, we don’t appreciate what’s going on. And if we don’t feel like a kid in Disneyland each and every day, we don’t appreciate what’s going on. And if we’re not watching every step of the way trying to stay in control, we don’t appreciate what’s going on. And the Sheheyanu reminds us that we should acknowledge the deep enjoyment of life, the living of life with meaning and the acceptance and overcoming of our fears at every age of our lives.

Welcome to our new lives, to this new day.



Post a Comment

<< Home