“The end of the matter, everything having been heard, fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the entire man (Ecclesiastes 12:13).” So often when people enter new environments, they’re met with the expectation that they leave preconceived notions at the door, or enter with a clean slate. And while I’m totally on board with open minds and new experiences, I fundamentally disagree with the premise of leaving our pasts behind when we take on something new. I ask my students instead to bring their full selves – their preconceived notions, past experiences, baggage, passion, drama, anything and everything. I think that we need to be our full selves as much as possible, for better or for worse, so I love that this verse talks about the entire person. We are all of our parts – the good, the bad, the ugly, the downright awkward, and that’s all great.
And with that, another book done! Tomorrow starts Esther, a book I’ve read many times before and am eager to explore through this lens, particularly with Purim coming up at the end of this month. 819 chapters down, 110 to go!