Friday, August 3, 2012

VaEtchanan: Satisfaction and Gratitude

 Parsha VaEtchanan: Deuteronomy 6:10-11 When God your Lord brings you to the land that He swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, that He would give to you, [you will find] great, flourishing cities that you did not build. You will also have] houses filled with all good things that you did not put there, finished cisterns that you did not quarry, and vineyards and olive trees that you did not plant.

You will eat and be satisfied. But be careful that you do not forget God, who is the One who brought you out of Egypt, the place of slavery.

The fig tree in our backyard is giving such an abundance of figs that we are able to eat our sweet fill, give to our neighbors, and even feel generously toward the birds that get first to the very ripest figs early each morning. Yes, we planted the tree – but did we bring the rain that watered it? Did we shine the sun on it? Did we breed the cultivar that works in our climate? No. The success of our own actions rests on so much that we inherit. We live, and find satisfaction, within a rich web of natural and human actions.

May our satisfaction give rise to gratitude and wonder at the rich inheritance, both natural and human, that sustains us.

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