(As heard from R' Doniel Kalish)
In this week's Parsha, Moshe tells the Jewish people that when you will look at the job and task of being a proper Torah abiding person, it may seem insurmountable. It may appear as if it is as difficult as going up to the Heavens or like traveling across the most difficult ocean.
However, Moshe continued, in truth, it is really quite easy. Serving Hashem is actually more likened to a journey to something which is very very close by.
Which one is it?
Is it hard, like a journey across the world, or is it easy- like a journey to somewhere close by? How is it possible to look at serving Hashem as if it is so difficult when in reality it is easy? And if serving Hashem properly looks as if it is so difficult, why is it, in reality, so easy?
The key to answering this conundrum is to understand how things look from different angles.
There is a popular saying- 'a journey of 1000 miles starts with one step.' This is not just a cute line, but rather a piercing insight into accomplishing great things. When one looks at the entire job and journey of serving Hashem, it is in truth, a tremendous journey and an amazing accomplishment which takes years and years of hard work.
However, the proper perspective is not that this journey is so long and arduous, but rather that each step of the journey is really quite doable. Each step is very much in our hands, very close by and easy to make. Over time, little steps in the right direction, little bits of Torah learning, little acts of kindness- will transform us into completely different people. People who have become Torah-true Jews.
So often in life we are hesitant to set out to accomplish great things because it is too difficult. The key is to realize that each step is very doable and the only thing we are expected to do is to take that next step.
Much like the key to building up physical strength is to first lift lighter weight and slowly, over time, lifting weight that is a bit heavier- so too building up ourselves requires consistently making those small steps in the right direction. We are not expected to make big leaps, to travel whole journey immediately.
Wishing you a wonderful Shabbos!
Rabbi Eli Meir Kramer