Lech l’cha: If/Then

what if“God said to Abram, ‘Go forth from your native land and from your father’s house to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation. And I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you and curse him that curses you ; and all the families of the earth shall bless themselves by you.”  (Gen 12:1-3)

What is enough to make you get up and go into the unknown? Would that be enough for you? Wouldn’t you talk it over with someone, or at least mull it over yourself? What does it mean that my name would be great – there’s a big chasm between famous and infamous. What does it mean that people who curse, or maybe even dislike me will be cursed?

Again, are those promises enough to make you sure about that next big move?

I’m sure we can all think back to when we made big leaps of faith – literally – big moves without a whole lot to go on. Maybe it was going off to school, or getting married, or taking a new job. Some people (like me) spend a lot of time with the pros and cons, making lists, getting advice, thinking and thinking, and I’m still never sure.

There was a musical made a few years ago called, “If/Then.” I loved it because it was as if the writers were inside my brain. What if I make this choice? What if I make the other one? My dad used to call me the “What if kid”; clearly, this was a pattern! In the musical, we see how the same person, at different points in her life, made decisions and we see how these two parallel lives played out. Which path was her authentic life?

Beth/Elizabeth sings, “See, each choice you make is a kind of a loss/Each turn you take and each coin that you toss/You lose all the choices you don’t get to make/you wonder about all the turns you don’t take.” Each choice is a loss for what wasn’t, each step along a path takes you away.

Abram had the assurance of a God he never saw, only had the voice. The Voice didn’t say all will be well, life would be easy. It said Abram would be in/famous, and that there will be those who follow him. There would be a future for his family. There would be protection from beyond. There would be those who praise and those who curse, and God/the Voice would be able to handle it either way.

Would that be enough for you to go and leave everything you knew? Have you ever been Abram, the one who goes forth into unknown?


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1 Response to Lech l’cha: If/Then

  1. Debbie Meron says:

    Reminds me of Tevye in Fiddler with “on the one hand…” and btw we just saw the AMAZING production in Yiddish (with supertitles) last night in NYC…if it comes to your area don’t miss it…one of the very best productions I’ve ever seen of anything!

    Sent from my iPhone

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