Saturday, December 31, 2016

Spinning Like a Dreidel

Have you ever spun a dreidel?

It spins and wobbles, and wobbles and spins, finally falling down with a thud on its side.

That's how I feel sometimes.

Spinning here and there, timing kids' drop offs and pickups like air traffic control, wedging in the grocery store and gas station between stops so that everyone and everything stays fueled up for continued spinning. And that's after a day at work.

By the time I've stowed the last dish and paired the last sock, I fall with a thud into bed, not as early as I'd like, but too early for my dear husband, who deserves more than a muffled "Ahhh love ooo..." as my eyes melt shut.

 That's why, as fun as dreidels can be, watching them actually stresses me out a little bit, if I'm honest. 

So as Hanukkah comes to a blazing close on New Year's Eve, I'm determined to focus on the menorah instead of the dreidel. Because the menorah is a reminder that when people commit what they have to God, He does miraculous things.

You see, when the Maccabees defeated Antiochus and started to rededicate the Temple, there wasn't enough undefiled oil to keep the Lampstand lit for more than a day. That was a major problem, because God had commanded his people to never let the Lampstand go out;  it was a reminder of His Presence. But if the Maccabees waited on more oil before they lit the Lampstand, it would be like saying they hadn't quite won yet, that God wasn't quite victorious.

 And so, even though it looked like the Maccabees didn't have enough oil, they lit the Lampstand anyway. Trusting that obedient and worshipful hearts were more important than hedging their bets. And the miracle is that the one-day supply lasted for eight days instead, until people were able to harvest and press enough olives to refuel the Lampstand.

My Lion of Judah menorah from Israel
 that mygrandma gave me.
That's why I want to keep my eyes on those flickering flames rather than the spinning top.

No matter my deficiencies - time, patience, money, hope, health, faith, etc. - the miracle comes when I consecrate all I have to God.

 He blessed the Maccabees so they could worship and honor Him. And He does the same for me. Because the more I joyfully open my hands to God in the midst of life's craziness and uncertainty, the more I experience His illuminating Presence.

And that is all the fuel I need.