As we start reading the book of Numbers, as we do this week, I wonder where I am in my wandering. In Hebrew, the book is Bamidbar, the wilderness. Like every other year I find myself pondering the Midrash when it says, ” There are three ways to acquire Torah, with fire, with water, and with wilderness.” (Midrash Numbers Rabbah 1:1). The midrash could be understood to mean that we acquire Torah through passion (fire), immersion (water), and through a long trek in unknown land (the wilderness).
Where am I regarding living a passionate and driven life? Am I devoting enough of my time and effort to the causes to which I am most passionate? While I tend to immerse myself into anything I am doing, I often wonder if I am in a grove or in a rut. Am I floating or drowning? And as I look forward to turning the big 40 this year I give pause to what I have accomplished in the first 30-50% of my life. Where am I in my journey? How much of the wilderness is known and how much is left to discover?