Tuesday, April 06, 2010

We just finished celebrating Pesach and Chag Hamatzot (Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread). During this past week, we attempted to abstain from eating anything with yeast as well as removing it from our homes completely. Trying to pursue Torah is not always as simple or straightforward as it might seem. After the first couple of days of not eating leaven and having matzah (unleavened bread) as part of our daily diet, I was feeling pretty good. It was a short-lived arrogance on my part. My husband ate out one day while at work and realized only later that he had something that had leaven, I did the same thing without even noticing one night. But the error that really got me was as I prepared dinner one night.

This is probably our 7th year of celebrating this season, but each year we learn more and I become convicted of more. Yes, I do tend to find more "things" to do during this season - I tend to feel like I could always do "better." But I do my best to not get caught up in what I "could have" done and understand more of what I "should" be learning. I have gotten much better at cleaning the house, but I am more concerned of keeping a clean heart. I try to prepare my weekly menu in my mind, so that I'm not worried about accidentally including leaven in anything. One night, in my arrogance of having an "easy" passover, I was cooking some meat. I was throwing in some seasoning when I arbitrarily looked at the back of the package. All of a sudden I find myself reading the ingredients nervously saying to myself: "don't have leaven, don't have leaven, don't have leaven..." Sure enough, there it was: yeast. I had just made this delicious meat and just threw in a bunch of yeast!

I am not one to want to waste food, but I literally dropped my head in disgust with a loud "UGH!" My 3-year-old daughter came in from the other room and asked what happened (since she overheard my outburst). I told her mommy made a mistake. She just said "Oh," and turned around to go back to what she was doing. I stopped myself in my tracks and made a decision. I finished cooking and after the food cooled, I put it in a container in our deep freeze outside to be reheated and eaten after passover. I thought a lot about how that little package of seasoning was back in the corner of my cupboard, but not meant to be hidden. I honestly did not know it had yeast in it, otherwise it would have been taken outside for the week like all the rest of the yeast in our house.

You can imagine that my easy-going mindset for this passover was out the window and now I knew it was time to get to work. I became overwhelmed by an understanding of 2 concepts that came to my heart and mind. First of all, if sin means "missing the mark" - as in archery terms - the mark is very difficult to make, but missing it doesn't make you a bad archer, it only means you're not perfect yet. If I try to shoot a basketball and don't make the basket, I don't beat myself up, yet when I sin, I feel like it's the end of my integrity as I know it. If I am to truly understand grace, I must accept it in the midst of trying to make the bull's eye. I know that I am not alone in the world of believers who are just too hard on themselves and get in their own way of joy.

But the second concept was maybe even more powerful to me. I started to think about Messiah and how He lived an entire life sin-free. If, even in my preparation to have a leaven free home and life for a WEEK, I have difficulty, the idea of living a sinless life is even more incredible. Yet, He did it. It makes His sacrifice that much more priceless. What an accomplishment! I know, I know, He is G-D. And I am not so bold to compare myself to His perfection, but it does pose a greater respect for His love for Torah and His grace to those of us who fall short.

Romans 5:20-21
Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more,
so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Yeshua the Messiah, our Lord.

1 comment:

Joshua said...

yeah, the oops's are indeed oops's! And His Perfection is indeed Dayanu!