If you’re like me, from time to time you stop and wonder if life is going to miraculously give you what you want. Don’t we all spend time wishing for the perfect job, the perfect mate, the perfect house? Often, all that wanting leaves us stuck. We get frustrated and don’t take steps forward toward anything. In doing so, we’re left with nothing but our yearning for what we think we want.
Lately, I’ve been immersed in A.J. Jacobs’ book, The Year of Living Biblically. In the book, Jacobs describes in humorous detail the year he spent obeying the Bible as literally as possible. He didn’t shave his beard. He didn’t wear clothes of mixed fiber. (Yes, oddly enough, the Bible calls for that.)
Jacobs’ quest for religious connection led him to numerous experts. One such expert, Rabbi Andy Bachman, told Jacobs the following midrash, which is a story that is not in the Bible but has a Biblical context.
“We all think of the scene in The Ten Commandments movie with Charlton Heston, where Moses lifted up his rod, and the waters rolled back. But this midrash says that’s not how it happened. Moses lifted up his rod, and the sea did not part. The Egyptians were closing in, and the sea wasn’t moving. So a Hebrew named Nachshon just walked into the water. He waded up to his ankles, then his knees, then his waist, then his shoulders. And right when water was about to get up to his nostrils, the sea parted. The point is, sometimes miracles occur only when you jump in.”
Only when you jump in? Yes. That’s exactly when miracles happen. Sure, it’s great, and even Universally required, to ask for what you want. To visualize your perfect life. To “put it out there” as they say. Otherwise, how will the Universe know what to give us?
But once you put it out there, it’s time to jump in. Cast aside your fears and get in the water. Sitting around and waiting will get you nowhere. You must believe that just when the water is up to your nostrils, the sea will part. That’s the thing about miracles. They only happen when you believe they will.