Fully Present in Our LivesSeptember 1, 2020 - 12:00 am
“When you have entered the land the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance and have taken possession of it and settled in it…”—Deuteronomy 26:1
Each week in synagogue or at home, Jews read through the Torah from Genesis to Deuteronomy. The Torah portion for this week is Ki Tavo, which means “when you have entered,” from Deuteronomy 26:1–29:8.
When I got to the point in my life where I had several children at home and I was taking on more responsibilities at The Fellowship, a good friend gave me some great advice. She said, “When you are at work, be fully present in your work, and when you are at home, be fully present with your family. The secret to doing many different things – and doing them well – is to give each one everything you’ve got in the moment.”
This week’s Torah reading begins: “When you have entered the land the LORD your God is giving you…” The Jewish sages asked: When does the act of ‘entering’ occur?
Does a person enter a room as soon as they put one arm in? Or, when most of their body is in the room, or when the entire body has entered? Along the same lines, at which point can we say that a nation has entered a land? When the first person walks in, when most of the nation enters, or does the entire nation have to be in the land before we can say that they have truly entered it?
The sages answered: “Partial entry is not considered entry.” Only when the entire nation entered the land, conquered it, and divided it up, would it be considered that they had arrived.
According to this teaching, the same principle applies to our lives. Like the advice I received, we need to ‘enter’ fully and wholeheartedly into anything that we do in order to do it right.
So many people do things half-heartedly. They are half with their children and half somewhere else. They are half in a conversation and half checking email. When at work, they are half on vacation, and while taking a vacation, they are still half at work. Doing things wholly, instead of halfway, is not just about completing any given task; it is about doing everything in our lives in the best way possible and consequently, enjoying our best lives possible.
Your turn: Today, try entering fully into everything you do. They say that you get what you give in life – so you may as well give it your all!