.::A Matter of Perspective

According to ancient rabbinic legend, two people, Reuven and  Shimon, hurried along among the crowd crossing through the sea.  But they never once looked up. They noticed only that the ground beneath their feet was still a little muddy–like a beach at low tide.
“This is terrible!” said Reuven. “There’s mud all over the place!”
“Disgusting!” said Shimon. “I’m in muck up to my ankles!”
“You know what?” replied Reuven. “When we were slaves in Egypt, we had to make our bricks out of mud, just like this!”
“Yeah,” said Shimon. “There’s no difference between being a slave in Egypt and being free here.”
And so it went, Reuven and Shimon whining and complaining all the way across the bottom of the sea. For them there was no miracle, only mud. Their eyes were closed. Even though they walked right through it, they might as well have been asleep (Midrash Exodus Rabba 24.1).

FROM Jewish Spirituality , A Brief Introduction for Christians, Rabbi Lawrence Kushner (Woodstock VT, Jewish Lights Publishing, 2001)

I think I whine too much about the “mud” that I have to trod through in my life.  Whether it be traffic, stressing over finances, a dirty home, and the like.  I far too easily forget the countless blessings that I overlook on a daily basis.  Rabbi Kushner continues by saying, “People see only what they’re looking for and what they understand, not necessarily what lies in front of them. . . How sad when something is right before your eyes, but you are asleep to it. It’s like that with our world, too.”  May I open my eyes to the wonder God blesses me with through my family, my wife and my daughters and not freak out that the house is not picked up.  May I bask in the wonderful glow of health that my family all gets to enjoy and not fret over the commute that is waiting for me after work.  May I be thankful for the wonderful job I have in a world where many are losing theirs and not complain about the stack of papers I have to grade.  May I see that which is right before my eyes and see it . . . really see it.


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