What to do when we are not in the mood? Those times when nothing is exciting and motivation is at an all-time low. Even in the best of physical health, it can be tough to get out of bed in the morning or to have the discipline to pay the bills on time. Yet, even on those monotonous and boring days, we do what needs to be done anyway.
This week we conclude the second book of the Torah by reading the joint parshas of Vayakhel and Pekudei. The content of both portions describe the manner in which the Israelites prepared the Mishkan (Tabernacle) that they were instructed to build as a dwelling place for the Divine Presence within their camp.
The final verses of the entire book describe the pivotal moment, after all was in place, when the divine presence descended upon the Mishkan. During the day it was seen in the image of a cloud and at night it was seen a glowing fire. Mission accomplished! Human beings had succeeded in inviting G-d to dwell in their midst!
This major endeavor was the beginning of a series of magnificent buildings that would serve as conduits to reveal the unbreakable bond between G-d and the Jewish people. The spiritual properties of the subsequent Holy Temples in Jerusalem, including the Third Holy Temple that will be built by Moshiach, are all sourced in the Mishkan built in the Sinai Desert.
Yes, the spiritual energy that pulsed in the magnificent Temple in Jerusalem, the capital city of the Holy Land flowing with milk and honey – initially entered this world in the parched and desolate wilderness of Sinai. A place devoid of life and beauty, unsuitable for human habitation and filled with ferocious snakes and scorpions. In this space of seeming nothingness, divinity was permanently revealed for the first time.
So the next time you find yourself in a spiritual desert – lacking the motivation and inspiration to learn some Torah, do a specific Mitzvah or to give charity, know that your greatest opportunity is now. When you do what is right even when you are not in the mood, you are inviting G-d into your life in a most meaningful and permanent way. Even a lackluster mitzvah can accomplish magnificent things!