Never Too LateDecember 24, 2013 - 5:00 am
“Moses and Aaron did just as the LORD commanded them. Moses was eighty years old and Aaron eighty-three when they spoke to Pharaoh.”—Exodus 7:6-7
The Torah portion for this week is Va’eira, which means “and I appeared,” from Exodus 6:2–9:35, and the Haftorah is from Ezekiel 28:25–29:21.
Earlier this year, Diana Nyad became the first person ever to swim from the shores of Cuba to the Florida Keys. What made Diana’s accomplishment so inspiring was that this wasn’t her first attempt. In fact, she had tried and failed four other times over the past 35 years. In fact, she was 64 when she finally achieved her goal, proving that it’s never too late to pursue a dream.
When Diana climbed ashore after 53 hours at sea, she said: “I got three messages. One is we should never, ever give up. Two is you never are too old to chase your dreams. Three is it looks like a solitary sport, but it’s a team.”
In this week’s Torah reading, we come across two details of information. We are told the ages of Moses and Aaron when they went to speak with Pharaoh in order to free the enslaved Israelites. According to Jewish tradition, every detail in the Bible contains some message for how we should live our lives. The Bible is not a history book, as some might think; it is a guide for living. So if the Bible tells us some seemingly insignificant details, like the ages of Moses and Aaron, we need to search for the message and guidance within that information.
I think that we can find Diana’s three messages in our verses. First, there is the idea that Moses and Aaron confronted Pharaoh. To appreciate what that means, we need to remember everything that these two men had been through until that moment. Aaron had been a slave for life, and now, he was on the verge of fulfilling his dream of freedom. Moses had run away from Egypt because he had killed an Egyptian trying to bring justice to God’s people. Now, he was back pursuing this dream of justice for God’s people. Moses and Aaron never gave up on their dreams, and neither should we.
Secondly, when the Bible tells us the ages of these two great men, God is showing us that we are capable of our most wonderful accomplishments in our older years. Moses and Aaron are only at the dawn of their careers in their 80s! We are never too old to serve God’s purposes or to fulfil our dreams.
Finally, we learn that none of us are alone and it “takes a team.” Moses had God and Aaron on his team. We all have God and the people He has placed in our life on our teams. With the help of our “team,” we can pursue any dream, and – no matter how many times we have failed before or how old we are – we can succeed.