I spent one hour with my family in an escape room. An escape room involves a series of puzzles, symbols, and clues that eventually lead you to unlock a door, leading to freedom. At first glance, it feels as if there is no obvious way out. Locks in every direction. No visible sign as to where one should start. We became overwhelmed by the number of obstacles standing in our way. Finally, we took a deep breath and decided to “begin again”, suddenly realizing that the first clue was right before us. Thus, began our path towards opening the door.
For many, “no” is the easiest answer to start with when presented with a series of obstacles. No…it costs too much money. No…we don’t have enough time. No…it never worked before so why try now? No…the journey forward is filled with too many briars and thorns. The concept of “no” is usually seen first. “No” is the escape room: locks and puzzles and convoluted pictures that confuse the mind and boggle the soul. It may seem easier remaining in the room. But sometimes, saying “yes” is the ultimate key to changing the trajectory of one’s journey and changing the trajectory of one’s life.
It is understanding the difference between obstacle and opportunity. When Adam and Eve dwell in the Garden of Eden, God calls out, “Ayeka?” “Where are you?” Adam, afraid and bewildered, begins to hide. We too, when faced with what feels like unanswerable questions, begin to hide, unsure of what to do or where to go. But even through his fear, Adam replies to the Lord. There is an opening…there is still a pathway forward.
Even the hardest of puzzles are meant to be solved. Answers may be difficult to find but often, an optimistic attitude leads to alternatives unexplored. It is much easier to say “no”, yielding a blocked entrance. But “yes”…yes to trying again…yes to trying at all…that may reveal the exact opportunity God is hoping you’ll see.
In partnership with The Jewish Journal, you can also find Rabbi Guzik’s blog post HERE.