I was recently in a conversation with a Bat Mitzvah student and she frequently used the word, “opportunity.” That to start her Bat Mitzvah studying and preparation was an opportunity. To have the ability to participate in the minyan, be counted, and improve this community with her presence was an opportunity and a gift. When I asked her what she meant, she explained that as a bat mitzvah, it will be her turn to infuse meaning in the mitzvot.
It reminded me that so often we perform mitzvot, engage in obligations and responsibilities and forget that each act or service to God is another way, another opportunity to find purpose in this seemingly senseless world.
Our Torah shares, “Speak to the Children of Israel, saying to them, ‘When you come into the land I am giving you, the land shall observe its Sabbath for God.’” The Alshekh, a prominent rabbi in the 16th century explains that there is a difference between giving something and bequeathing something. A gift is conditional; it can always be taken back. When we take God’s world and our blessings for granted, we forsake the gift of life and the opportunities and wonders that are presented before us every single day.
Imagine waking up and saying, “God, I have the opportunity to serve you and humanity. Today, I will show you gratitude for this gift of life.” It is a mantra in which we learn to walk with humility, grace, appreciation, purpose and love.
Let’s practice the language of opportunity. A bit of appreciation and a cup of coffee: It’s a perfect way to start the day.