For a definition of “Spiritual Helicopter,” please go to this link.
Today I was late to Rosh Hashanah services. I mean, I was LAAAAAAATE, okay? I misread my ticket and thought that services started at 11:00. I showed up at 10:40 and they were just getting to the Torah reading.
Oops. Services started at 10. It’s Yom Kippur that starts at 11.
I got into the sanctuary, into the way-back-in-the-back with the temporary seating in the social hall, and tried not to cry. For about five minutes. Beating myself up for making a mistake – again. Beating myself up for being late to shul ON ROSH HASHANAH, of all days.
Beating myself up.
Oh. Wait. Didn’t I say, just this morning, that I was going to stop beating myself up for small mistakes? Was anyone else going to care that I made this mistake except me? Was God really going to be offended because I wasn’t on time when I spent at least ten minutes hunting for parking (there’s no parking lot at our shul), really? Did something this minor really matter?
And that’s when the spiritual helicopter showed up. I swear this is not me hallucinating. It didn’t come in words, exactly, but more of a sense. A sense that communicated this:
My son, the God you were told about when you were a child is not Me. I won’t hit you for making a simple mistake.
I suppose I’ve been told to put my (spiritual) money where my (spiritual) mouth is, nu?
Because then I did cry. Not much, but I did cry – the tears of someone who’s been under pressure after the pressure is lifted.
I have to remember that God is not a spiritual bully. My mother was, but He isn’t.