This is a big deal. Water shortages kill people. Water shortages cripple communities. Water shortages start wars. Imagine. Wherever people are suffering from lack of water, really the water is right there. They’re standing in it! But they have no access to it.
And now they do – because of a magic vessel.
You and I are like the Watergen. We are vessels not for water but for the Divine presence. Like water, the Divine presence is all over (and really helpful), but it’s inaccessible and unusable – without a magic vessel!
We learn that we are vessels from God’s portable sanctuary called the Mishkan. God tells the Jewish people to “make for Me a sanctuary so that I will dwell in them.” “Them”? Shouldn’t the verse read, “Make for Me a sanctuary so that I dwell in it”? Our Sages explain that building the Mishkan is an exercise in self-development. God’s letting us know that the real dwelling place for the Divine is not the wood and metals of the Mishkan but in us – our very own hearts and minds.
This is a big deal. Divine presence is everywhere. Where is there not God’s presence? Yet for all intents and purposes it remains inaccessible and unhelpful to me and the world without a vessel.
You and I can be those vessels!
This is also a really big deal because I for one need the Divine presence in my life. I cannot think of a single, greater variable in my success than the wisdom, creativity, and love that comes with the Divine presence showing up in my heart and mind.
Having a nice, warm conversation with my wife? Good ideas and techniques are nice. Without the blessing of Divine presence to make use of them, I’ll botch that conversation every time.
Giving my children love and gentle boundaries? Ditto.
Finding a solution to internal or external conflict? Ditto.
Writing an effective blog? Again, ditto.
We become this magic vessel through a few steps.
First, we acknowledge that we are vessels, not creators. Watergen doesn’t create water. Its genius lies in its recognition of and capacity to receive what’s already there.
Second, we seek to receive.
Last night I spoke with one of my kids about the many conflicts he’s having with siblings.
“Why do you keep raising this?” said my child, exasperated. “If you don’t like the way I am, talk to God. He made me this way.”
It was a moment I felt love in my heart.
“True,” I acknowledged, “but you are His partner. You are responsible to contribute to peace. You must say, ‘God, I can’t do this but I want to. And You have the understanding I need. Please – give me the thoughts and feelings to be peaceful.’ Are you saying that to God?” I asked.
“No,” he acknowledged. He was quiet for a moment. Then he smiled. For a moment he glimpsed that he is a magic vessel.