In this week's double portion of Maatot and Maaseh, we recount the long journey that the Israelites took through the desert, en route to the promised land. The Torah is very specific. It lists each and every stop that the Israelites made during their forty years of wandering in the desert. While it is not entirely clear why the torah felt the need to list all of them (a question which we will dive a little deeper into during services tomorrow morning) what is clear to me is that the journey they took was a long one. Way longer than any of us would think that it needed to be. Nevertheless, whether the Israelites knew it or not, each and every stop along the way, whether it was a step forwards or backwards, ultimately brought them one step closer to their promised land.
Like the Israelites, I think that we are all on a long journey. Some of us may know exactly where it is that we want to go. Maybe we took a detour, got rerouted, or lost along the way, which can be frustrating. Others of us may still be trying to figure out our next destination.
Nevertheless, wherever it is that our journeys have taken us, each and every stop along the way played an important role in helping us get to where we are, and setting the direction for where we want to go.
Which is why it is my hope and prayer for all of us this Shabbat and beyond, that like the Israelites and our Torah portion this morning, we can appreciate that each and every stop we have made, whether we wanted to make it or not, was an important one and that each step we take brings us one step closer to our own promised lands.