We’ve come to expect instant results. Perhaps the speed of today’s latest “on demand” technology or the abundance of resources in our global community have trained us to feel this way, but it’s become natural to assume that most problems will be solved within 24 hours or less. This expectation obviously leads to disappointments, and we’re forced to learn the art of patience even when the answers seem but a click away.
One of the laws in the construction of the Holy Temple’s altar is that the ascent to the top must be upon a ramp and not a staircase “so that your nakedness will not be revealed on it” (Exodus 20:23). Unlike a staircase, a ramp’s incline is small and gradual, forcing a more gentle ascent for the Temple priest.
Personal growth follows the same pattern. When we’re inspired to change, we might expect a decision to change to be instantly transformational. Taking leaps and bounds towards the new behavior, we seem like new men. Then the “nakedness” is “revealed,” the surprising reality that change is not overnight, and we’re often discouraged and revert to the old habits. Often the result is that we become more deeply entrenched in our destructive patterns.
Inspiration to grow, to ascend the altar, is what starts the engine, but when going forward — beware of your speed limit!
Rabbi Mordechai Dixler
Program Director, Project Genesis – Torah.org
This article is great!! I really feel that it’s an easy trap to fall into, to grow too quickly, and it’s so interesting to hear this concept connected to the parsha in this way. Thank you!
The path of spiritual growth can be painful if your experience is not tangible at the start of your growth path. What I mean is that, God takes you out of bondage and you want to experience positive things in your life straight away as a sign of encouragement. Seeimng is a powerful evidence in every works of life even on the path of searching for spiritual excellence. I know we need faith but man is also limited to the fact that we were made in both flesh and the spirit. The pain barrier is one that is difficult to overlook. How can I monitor my spiritual growth. I am at this junction where I know I am growing spiritually but by how much. What do I need to do to climb the spiritual ladder at a quicker rate? I cannot pray and see results immediately right now on my road to spiritual enlightenment. The questions I ask myself and I wonder if I would be in a position to call for rain,lightening, thunder and destruction of the wicked. When I see leaders who kill their own people I want to be able to pray and destruction come on some of these wicked leaders. The world is just full of wickedness and the righteous do not seem to have power to impact the world. WHY WHY WHY?
Thanks…that is a great way to look at it.
Thank you. That is exactly what I needed to hear tonight!