Sometimes, our destiny seems like a heavy load to bear.
G-d chooses us for a task – a unique task – and sometimes, that task doesn’t align with who we think we are:
Perhaps what looks like a sign is only my imagination.
I’m not so important.
G-d will find someone else to do this task.
I’m going to do what I think is right.
We build walls around our hearts and souls, drowning out the small, still voice.
Yes, it might only be our imagination. Yes, perhaps we’re not so important and someone else will pick up and do the tasks we were able to. Perhaps, with all our hearts, we think we know what’s right; we know what is best for ourselves and our people.
Jonah kept running from G-d. He fervently believed that enabling Nineveh to repair and return – as individuals and as a nation – would make life as he knew it unlivable. He ran and ran, thinking that surely, someone else could do this task. Someone else could do the work of G-d.
But G-d didn’t choose someone else. He chose Jonah. And Jonah was the man for the job.
Tonight, on Yom Kippur, we converse with G-d. We confess our wrongdoings. The times we pushed off responsibility. The times we thought, the world will be fine without my efforts; I’m not the one for the job. And tonight, we also declare that no matter what we do, G-d remains the same: merciful, gracious, slow to anger. We can flee from one end of the world to the next, but eventually G-d “catches” us. The task might have been on hold, but it will continue.
Even if it takes generations.
Think about where and who you come from. The choices that were made that lead to your existence and that have shaped your values. As you make your choices in 5777, remember, you are important. Your choices matter. Your choices will shape the generations that follow you. Take down the walls. Search your heart and soul.
If you have the strength to keep running, you have the strength to stand still. To accept your destiny. To turn around and take one step in the other direction. Toward your unique task. Your destiny. Your contribution to Am Yisrael.