I went to my first Bat Mitzvah last week and was moved by the service and the many messages within the readings and Torah. The part that I keep talking about, though, was a midrash that the Rabbi shared. Midrash for those unfamiliar with it are stories written as a way to work with and fill in the Torah text. This particular story was written to illustrate the parting of the waters as the people fled slavery and Pharaoh’s army.
The story goes that God told the people to go forward. And then they came to the water. God did not part the water for them to show them the way through however. God said, “Go forward.” So the leader of the people, even though it may have seemed crazy, even though he maybe didn’t really understand why went forward. He walked into the water.
He walked in and God still said, “Go forward” so into the water he went, deeper and deeper. Finally the water was up to his nostrils and he was terrified that he would drown, but he kept walking in. And that my friends, that faith is what parted the waters. The practice of listening to the command to go forward and the action of following, even to the point of risking one’s life is what engaged God and parted the waters. I don’t know about you, but I am seeing in every story, the story of transformation.
I admit that even though I have been through this process countless times, even though I mostly live in a profound trust of the messages I receive from Beyond; this weekend I felt like I was up to my chin in the water and cursing. I was afraid down to by bones. I could not see how anything might open up. I was trying to look over my shoulder to see if there was any way at all to go back. But there was none. No tracks, and a force ready to re-enslave me is all I saw. And when I looked forward all I saw was endless water enveloping me. I was sure I was going to drown.
And I’m teetering there. Maybe I’m survival floating; remembering that even in the waters I can hold my breath for a bit and then go deeper. I want to move forward, so I’ll keep doing so until something opens up or I drown. Wisdom says that something will open up one way or another, even if I can’t anticipate it. Even if everything looks shades of impossible.