I will meet you there … Exodus 25:22
I wish that things worked more like they are described in the Torah.
As I reintegrate myself into the life of Temple Micah after my month of sabbatical time, I find myself reflecting on the experience and impact of this sacred time for me. I always feel as if being given the gift of this time, I need to use it wisely and well. It is not given to me by the community as vacation time – where I just relax, have fun and get away from it all. I endeavor for this time to be spiritually reflective and nourishing. And yet, I wish it could go like things are described in Torah.
In Torah this week, Moses and the Israelites are given a detailed plan as to how to construct the setting and context for them to encounter, to MEET, the divine. The designs for the Mikdash (sacred place or sanctuary) are laid out in great detail. Once Moses and company complete the instructions — almost as if they are marking a very concrete ‘X’ on the right time and place – God says: No-ah-d-tee/נוֹעַדְתִּ֣י/ I will MEET you … right there!
I am still working on finding, crafting and understanding the exact instruction manual that will secure me such a regular and definitive time and place to MEET up with the divine. Finding this divine meeting place and time is a far more imperfect science than implied in our sacred text. I think that the story of constructing the Mikdash points to elements of the formula … intention, increased awareness, setting aside special times and spaces, imbuing them with a sense of the sacred. And yet, securing such divine encounters are more art than science, more mystery than measurement.
I would have loved to follow the directions and determine where I might so clearly MEET up with the Divine. Alas, during my sabbatical time the nature of my divine MEET-ups were not as simple, clear and ordered in our sacred text. However, there were hints and glimpses of hearing those moments that the universe may have been calling out to me: No-ah-d-tee/נוֹעַדְתִּ֣י/ I will MEET you. They were enough to remind and challenge me to make sure that I keep working on planning, crafting and preparing for more Mikdash moments – all of the time, sabbatical or not; ‘religious’ or not … that lead to some kind of MEET up with that divine, sacred and holy essence of being.