Yes I will admit that this is a very weird way to look at my birthday. But at the same time I believe it adds great meaning to celebrating a birthday. We run around each day thinking that we are the most important thing in the world! But really sit back and think about your place in your world. In the World. In the Universe. When you think of your individual existence in terms of the Universe you begin to think how small and insignificant we really are to the greater scheme of things. Personally I believe it is amazingly cool to think that we travel that far in one year, really without giving it any thought!
So how do the millions of miles traveled really relate to me? For the past 34 days I have been counting the Omer each night. Counting the Omer is a verbal counting of each of the forty-nine days between the holiday of Passover to the holiday of Shavuot. The counting is intended to remind us of the link between Passover, which commemorates the Exodus, and Shavuot, which commemorates the giving of the Torah. It reminds us that the redemption from slavery was not complete until we received the Torah.
Counting the Omer is more than just counting days, it can also be used as a guide to personal refinement. The counting of the Omer is designed as a forty-nine step journey through the human personality. This journey is meant to look at refining and perfecting areas of the emotions as the journey progresses. Each day of the Omer has a specific area for growth.
So the Omer is a way to take steps to self improvement. Each day is a stage on the journey. Much like the passing of each year and marking a birthday is a stage. Using the steps of counting the Omer have given me pause to think about literally where I have been and where I am going. I have traveled great distances in my lifetime so far. Thinking about my place in the Universe is a very humbling experience. This week's contemplation deals with Humility and Splendor. If endurance is the engine of life, then humility is its fuel. Humility is the silent partner of endurance. Its strength is in its silence. Humility is modesty. It is saying "thank you" to God. It is clearly recognizing personal qualities and strengths. Humility is also recognizing how small you are and this is what allows you to realize how large you can become.
So, thinking about how far I have traveled in one year...4100.80 million miles around the Sun is an amazing and humbling thought at the same time. But at the same time I think about how far I have come this year in my personal life and in my profession life. And I stand here on my birthday humbled. Exactly the message of the Omer this week. A perfect message for self reflection and inner peace on my birthday.