Reflections on Exodus. After 10 plagues and much preparation to leave, Moses lead the people out of Egypt and across the Sea of Reeds. Only to arrive at a wide desert of not knowing. No plan, no resources, but only the faith in a mysterious unknown god.
Imagine standing at the edge of the Sea of Reeds, where you couldn’t turn around and couldn’t cross the water. Imagine the feeling of despair the Hebrew Slaves felt in Egypt to follow this known leader, Moses, to the edge of the land they knew. Standing by the water, trapped with no path, where it seemed their journey will abruptly end. Luckily the water parted!
If the Hebrew Slaves waited to be motivated to leave they would never leave Egypt. The comfort of their known miserable lives as slaves was “safe” and predicable. It sufficed. It would have been impossible to motivate them to change. Change is hard and we cannot sit and wait until we feel like it is “safe” enough or the conditions are good. Especially, we can’t wait to feel like we are motivated enough before we take action.
That is why we need a Moses to push us out of our stuck places. The story tells us that the people had to leave in a hurry in the middle of the night. Why hurry? Because hesitation is the enemy of change. If we have too much time to contemplate change the brain finds ways to justify not taking action in order to save us from feeling discomfort and pain.
The Moses archetype to lead us on new journeys is within us. We can summon the Moses within and be determined to take action, one step at a time.
Consistent action while staying curious about the mystery of our future can lead to real change. We cannot wait to be motivated or have the right conditions. Journeying in the unknown desert is necessary. Tolerating discomfort; feeling out of control and hungry in unfamiliar terrains is inevitable. Tolerating uneasiness is a must while pushing forward to a Promised Land even if it’s a dream no-one seen.
Exodus is a beautiful story about our journey in the mystery we call life. To inspire us to have the courage to take a chance on change, on adventure; to journey to new lands and create new community as Moses and the Israelites did. Happy Spring and sweet Passover.
Retreat with Rabbi Sigal June 9-11 at Kripalu Center