What is willingness? The Kabbalists tell us that it is a vital characteristic, but do not explain it, leaving us to interpret this notion in our own lives. We know that willingness is necessary for any action. We might decide to affect a change, but we need to have the willingness to take action. We might stay open to new opportunities, but we need to be willing to embrace change. We might know that we need to end a relationship, or accept a new job, but we need to be willing to trust our instincts and take risks.
We often engage in intellectual exchanges regarding social justice and the needs of others, but are we willing to stand up and act in the face of wrongdoing? Are we willing to stand up for ourselves when our values or needs are challenged? Are we willing to engage deeply in our own spiritual growth, even though we might learn frightening self-truths?
The Kabbalists tell a story of the splitting of the Reed Sea in front of the Israelites. The people crowded up against the Reed Sea, crying out for help. They had been told to act, to be willing to step forward, but they were afraid. Leading his tribal column, one man, Nachshon, strode into the sea. Wading through the rising tide, the waters first reached his waist, then his chest and shoulders. At the very last moment, as the waters reached his nostrils, the Reed Sea parted and the Israelites followed him into the sea. The willingness of one man saved a nation.
How willing are you to engage deeply with life? What have you been putting off that you can now commit to? What have you dreamed of doing that only takes a bit of willingness? Spend the week noticing when you are pulling back from your desires or your calling. Let me know what changes in your life.