When is Chanukah this year?
With regard to the major Jewish holy days there is always the question, “Are they coming early this year?” Some years Passover and Easter coincide, but some years they don’t. Some years Chanukah and Christmas overlap, some years they don’t.
Here is a concept that might be a little hard to get your mind around: the holy days always happen when they are supposed to. There really isn’t a notion of “early” or “late” in a spiritual-religious life. The holy days come when they come.
Things happen exactly when they’re supposed to,
which isn’t always according to our ideal time-tables.
We have a very fixed notion of time, and why wouldn’t we? We all grew up with clocks. We grew up with a sense of always knowing what “time” it is. Even our grandparents had clocks. Some of our grandfathers had grandfather clocks! (Sorry, couldn’t resist that one.) There’s no generation alive today that can remember growing up outside the idea that there are 24 hours in a day.
Clocks revolutionized everything.
In earlier days, people kept time by paying attention to sunrise and sunset. Noon was the midpoint of the day, which according to our standardized sense of time would be at different “times” of the day.
Perhaps we might do well to revise our time-frame to that of an earlier time. The age-old (word choice intentional) phrase, “There is a time for everything under heaven” is instructive. This does not mean that at precisely 12:06, something important will happen in our lives. It just means everything that is supposed to get done gets done and that things happen in their own time.
It’s not about pinpointing an exact moment when something will happen. It’s not about events occurring at an exact digital instant. Do you know how the rabbis of old knew it was time to say morning prayers? No one was anxiously watching a clock for an exact signal of when it was time. The time to say morning prayers was when they said morning prayers. It’s like when you’re on vacation from your schedule and there’s no set time for lunch. You lunch when you lunch.
Everett Dirksen said, “There is nothing as powerful as an idea whose time has come.” When something’s time has come, it’s bound to happen – it cannot be stopped.
How about things in your life right now? Do they come when you think they’re supposed to come? Or, do they happen when they’re supposed to? Do things always happen according to a the clock on your phone? Or do things happen just when they’re supposed to happen?
Let things happen in your life at the right time, in the right season. (It’s easier than trying to micromanage and predict when they occur.)