Counting the Omer – Day 49
Barukh ata Adonay, Eloheinu, melekh ha’olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu al sfirat ha-omer.
Blessed are You, Adonay our God, ruler of the universe, who makes us holy with mitzvot and gives us this opportunity to count the Omer.
Today is day forty nine, which is seven weeks of the Omer. Hayom yom arbaim ve tesha she hem shiva shavuot laOmer.
Today is Malkhut be Malkhut, majesty within majesty, presence within presence.
It’s been a long Omer, and I have to thank you for counting it with me. Sometimes, I’ve been late – but we continued to count together. I don’t know that I learned much – maybe a little here and there, maybe not. I do know that I am not at all like God. I can’t make big things happen, fix things for anyone, change the course of time and space. As a substitute teacher who often works at a special needs school, I know how often I can affect change – almost never. So, as I come to Malkhut be Malkhut, where I strive to be as close to God as possible, I wonder where I can go with that.
I realize that God doesn’t have to do much to be God. For me, to affect change, God just has to be present – to listen, to accept, to be. That is something I can do. I can witness the crazy. I can listen to the people, I can accept them as they are, I can be actively, fully present. If it’s enough for God, maybe it’s enough for me too.
Many things are changing in my life. No matter how much I prefer to hold on to what is, to have things be true or false, things don’t chose to be that way. Instead they continue to change all out of countenance, becoming different from anything I could have ever thought or imagined. So, how can I handle this? Screaming, hiding under the bed, or running around in circles, which is what comes to my mind are probably not the best approaches. I fall back on presence. I can be there throughout the change, ready to learn and grow, do the next thing, and in and of myself, change as necessary.
Whether to affect change in the world, or cope with changes that are happening, my job is to be most fully present and to accept that this may be all I can do. If I can use the Omer count as a way of teaching me to be more present, maybe I’ve learned enough for this year.
Today, we are fully present in our day.