For seven days from sundown on Sunday, September 30, we will be in the “Time of Our Joy”, or the “Time of Our Rejoicing”. That is another name for the Jewish Festival of Sukkot, also known as Tabernacles.
It is indeed, as the name suggests, a festival of joy. This, in spite of the fact that it is only three days after Yom Kippur, the most solemn day of the year. Not only that: In addition to being a harvest or agricultural festival, Sukkot commemorates the 40 years of wandering in the desert.
Wanderings are not joyous generally. Much of what comes to mind when we think of the Israelites’ 40 years experience are complaints and frustrations against Moses and their Redeemer. There were times when they contemplated returning to past – because it was familiar. They even missed “the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic” they enjoyed while in slavery. (Incidentally, Numbers 11:4-6, 10-16, 24-29 is the First Reading for this Sunday, in many churches).
When it is our turn to look back, we are appalled that their former life in slavery would have been preferred. Yet, often times we are blinded by the familiar and fail to grasp the larger picture. It is easy to be complacent and miss the full benefits of our Destiny. There is also fear of the unknown, but as was pointed out, “stepping into the unknown is in itself transformational”.
Remember also that joy comes from enjoying all the little things in life as was pointed out earlier. It is, indeed, a decision, to choose to find joy in every moment. After all, nothing happens without a reason and a purpose. Finding that Destiny is the ultimate joy.