There is a conversation that I have with my dad, like clockwork, when I take a new class. I begin, usually in tears, about my inability to do anything remotely useful with Latin. My dad responds, reminding me of the work I’ve already done and with this advice, “Do this work. It will be hard, but you will work through it and you will look back, astonished and proud of what you have done.” And he is right. I finish the semester in astonishment and with lots of pride.
I imagine the story of Chanukah going something like this. Someone starts, probably in tears, about how little oil there is and how it won’t last more than a day. Someone else returns with this advice, “Go ahead; light it. It will be hard, but we will survive this and we will look back, astonished and proud of what we have done.” And, as it goes, he was right.
Chanukah is about oil lasting for 8 days, but it is also about us. Chanukah is about that moment when our inner fire almost goes out. It is the moment when we don’t think we can finish the paper, get through the day, or survive this difficult time. Chanukah is that person who sees us dwindling and gives us just what we need to get there. And Chanukah is that moment when we finish and look back, astonished at our innate human ability to take hope and run wild with it. Just as the Maccabees’ light lasted eight days, so can we take a small light of hope and turn it into a week’s/month’s/lifetime’s supply of oil.
Cause we got the fire, fire, fire…
And we gonna let it burn!
Do you find this devotional thoughtful? If so, please consider using the buttons below and – via Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or other social media – sharing it with your friends.