I’ve learned many lessons in my life, but one of the most important is to not give too much energy to a single moment. For it is only a chapter, not the whole book.
Most of us see our lives in small pieces. It’s not easy to step back from a present circumstance and see a bigger picture. Yet this is such a wonderful way to achieve wisdom. This was Joseph’s test too. Last week’s biblical portion saw Joseph in great despair, as he was sold into slavery. This week, Joseph is elated when he is removed from prison to become the chief advisor to Pharaoh. Within Miketz, we see Joseph rise from slavery to royalty. In one second there is difficulty and we are down in the dumps. In the next, things look good and so we are happy. Such is the web of human emotions spun by our ups and downs.
Joseph spent 10 years in prison for a crime he did not commit, and then an extra two years because he lost certainty that the Divine Light was the source of his freedom. Not a human being (Pharaoh’s cupbearer). Towards the end, it was difficult for Joseph to conceive that his imprisonment was itself a blessing. And yet, that is exactly what it was. For Joseph, the years spent in captivity made him the chariot he was born to become for the world. First, there was the cleansing that needed to take place; Joseph may not have been guilty of the crime for which he was accused, but he was guilty of causing a rift between himself as his brothers. Furthermore, these years provided a solitude that was necessary for Joseph to discover and rise to a new spiritual level. Because of the darkness he experienced, Joseph would always and forever have an intense appreciation for the Light.
What this portion comes to teach us is that the ‘moment’ is from our eye-view, but the perspective of Creator is the whole story.
We think things are good one minute and bad the next, never knowing that each instance is neither ‘good’ or ‘bad,’ but simply one step in the journey towards enlightenment. We see the footprints, but God sees the whole path, and it is one that leads us ever closer to ourselves and to the Light.
It is no coincidence that this week also happens to be the beginning of the holiday season, a time of miracles, and the new moon of Capricorn. One of the best ways to attract miracles is to start recognizing that everything is a miracle. The sun that rose in the east this morning, the breath of life with which we have been granted another day, the pure white of the fresh fallen snow or the green of the grass that sways, having one person who truly cares about us, the good times in which we celebrate, and yes even the not so easy ones from which we grow – all miracles. All part of the divine design through which we imbue our soul with Light.
The energy of Miketz combined with energy of the new moon and the holiday of Chanukah, help us to see not only the blessings in our life as miracles, but the challenges too. For like Joseph, it is in our darkest moments that we expand our spiritual capacity. With this consciousness, we can step out of the moment and begin to see the bigger picture, and one day the whole picture. We can start to see how everything that happens, no matter how we may perceive it initially, is indeed for the greater good.
From God’s perspective, there is no darkness. There is only Light.