Friday, November 8, 2013

High on Life

Parshat VaYetze
5 Kislev, 5774
November 8th, 2013

Last year Colorado legalized recreational marijuana, which makes it the second state to acknowledge that yes, college students are high all the time, and no, none of them actually have glaucoma. 

Among the unexpected codicils of legalized marijuana is the question of what to do with drug-sniffing dogs. They've all been trained to detect marijuana, and apparently will bark themselves into doggie hypertension now that they can get a whiff while simply trotting down the street. They all have to be retrained, which recapitulates the age-old question: can you teach an old dog new tricks?

The stoners all thought that last paragraph was hysterical.

Anyways, I worry about "retraining." It isn't the dogs or the weed; it is the question: were I to have to change my life, right here, right now, could I do it? How settled am I? Can I change? Can I be retrained?

We get settled, most of us, sometime in our 20's and 30's. We get used to this - whatever "this" is- being the lifestyle to which we are accustomed. Our possibilities become a lot less plastic than they had been. 

There are incredible spiritual benefits to loving one's lot in life; however, none of us can presume that tomorrow will be the same as today. All of us will experience, probably more than once, that life-changing curveball thrown by the Big Pitcher upstairs. 

When life changes, we should follow the example of our father Jacob, whose life turned on a dime. He grabbed his older brother's birthright, and then fled into the wilderness lest his brother, Esav, kill him. And there, not even possessed of a pillow upon which to lay his head, he had a visionary dream revealing the spiritual truths of the universe, along with promise that God will always be with him. When he woke up, he said, "God was surely in this place, and I did not know it."

We encounter God beyond the assumption that life is static: the blessings we receive daily are not assured - let's not take them for granted; the curses we bear are not necessarily the life-sentences we imagine them to be - they are always subject to change. When we get up in the morning and acknowledge today's good, regardless of what happened yesterday, we will find ourselves changing to meet our changing lives. And we will find God in places where we could not see God before.

No comments:

Post a Comment