There’s a lot of construction going on in Jerusalem; the city has been installing a light-rail train system to ease transportation congestion that has resulted from the unbelievable growth in population the city has experienced over the past decade. In addition to the light-rail, Israel is installing some new regular train lines and is building a brand-new train station right across the street from the Central Bus Station in Jerusalem.
For several years now, Jerusalem’s citizens and regular visitors have watched as construction equipment is brought in, roads are torn up and holes are being dug. Some of those holes are huge. The new train station has been under construction for what seems like forever. Everyone is so curious that when the barrier was erected to protect people from the train station construction site, they installed windows so passersby could peek in and see what’s going on.
Sounds exciting, right? Well, for at least the past year, most of us peek in the window and all we see is a gigantic hole. For me, it is probably the widest and deepest hole in the ground I have ever seen. Day in and day out, we look in the window to peek in the hole. In fact, many Jerusalemites have stopped looking. After all, what’s there to look at? It’s a hole!
But therein lies the problem. If the engineers only saw a hole, that hole would never become anything more than a hole. No, the designers of the train station don’t see a hole, they see a train station. Can you imagine if one day the train station designers were to go over and look in the window and say to themselves, “it’s just a big hole”? What if they were to become discouraged because it doesn’t yet look like a train station, it just looks like a hole? What if they just gave up because it seems like progress is so slow that maybe it won’t ever happen? The project would be halted and all we’d have is a really big hole.
But, thankfully, the engineers drew a picture of the train station. They not only know what the end result is supposed to be, they have pictures of it on billboards around the area and they have blueprints. They may not know for sure precisely how long it will take to complete the project, but they know that one day in the not-to-distant future, their vision will be realized and where now stands a gigantic hole, there will be a train station. When the designers and engineers look at that hole, they don’t see a hole – they see a train station. They know that this is what a train station looks like at this stage of the project and they see the end result – they see a train station. They KNOW that this train station exists now, albeit not in its completed form.
How many times in our lives do we try to think positively, desiring a specific outcome, only to take a look at the current situation and become despondent, allowing ourselves to believe that it’s never really going to happen? We don’t see the train station, we only see the hole and we convince ourselves that there will never be anything there except the hole. If that’s what we see, then that’s what we’ll have.
When we learn to see the reality of what is and know that it already is, no matter what it may look like at this stage in the process, then, in the not-to-distant future, our vision will be realized. It’s not that there will be a train station; there IS a train station right now, even if it doesn’t look much like a train station at this point. We must learn to see the bigger picture and to hold on to that not as something that will exist, but as something that exists now.
To really be able to internalize the idea that something we do not yet see exists now, we have to remember several key principles from the Torah.
Time is not eternal –
Time is not an eternal principle, it is a created construct that exists for human beings. Time is a framework that allows us to exist in this linear world. But God, we know, is outside of time. When we can truly internalize this concept, we understand that for God everything that ever has been or ever will be already exists, therefore, what we will create for ourselves in the future exists now.
We are created in G-d’s image –
Knowing that we are created in the image of God means that we have been endowed with a nature that reflects the nature of God. That means that just as God is creative, we are creative and how does God create? In the book of Genesis we see that God creates through His word. Likewise, our words have creative power. And just as our words have creative power in the world, our thoughts, which are words we speak to ourselves, have the power to create within us. Learning to control and properly use these God-given powers can change our lives.
G-d only wants the best for us-
Many people mistakenly believe that what happens to us is completely out of our control, but that’s not true. God runs the universe and ultimately He is in charge of what happens, but God wants the best for His children just as any parent wants the best for their children – not only what is best for us, but the best for us. As long as our motives are to serve Hashem and to bring His Holiness into the earth, no request – no desire of our heart is unreasonable to ask for. In the end it may or may not be the best thing for us and so we may be told “no”, but we may also be told, “yes”.
Take for example the prayer of Yavetz in Divrei Hayomim א, 4:10 –
“Now Yavetz called on the God of Israel, saying, ‘Oh that You would bless me indeed and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and that You would keep me from harm that it may not pain me!’ And God granted him what he requested.”
We are told in Yeshayahu that Hashem longs to be gracious to us (Yeshayahu 30:18) and in Yirmiyahu 29:11 that Hashem has plans of good for us and not bad. The key to unlocking the door of blessing, is of course, obedience to Hashem as it says in Devarim 7:12-15 –
12 “Then it shall come about, because you listen to these judgments and keep and do them, that Hashem your God will keep with you His covenant and His lovingkindness which He swore to your forefathers.
13 “He will love you and bless you and multiply you; He will also bless the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground, your grain and your new wine and your oil, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock, in the land which He swore to your forefathers to give you.
14 “You shall be blessed above all peoples; there will be no male or female barren among you or among your cattle.
15 “Hashem will remove from you all sickness; and He will not put on you any of the harmful diseases of Egypt which you have known, but He will lay them on all who hate you.
So, understanding that Hashem loves us and only wants the best from us, we are free to dream and to hope and to create in our lives, trusting and believing that good things will come because they already exist and Hashem wants to bless us.
Though things may not look like much at the moment, we must keep the vision and remember, it’s not a hole, it’s a train station!