Monday, December 22, 2014

With what little I bring

"Does the sun ask itself, 'Am I good? Am I worthwhile? Is there enough of me?' No, it burns and it shines. Does the sun ask itself 'What does the moon think of me? How does Mars feel about me today?' No it burns, it shines. Does the sun ask itself 'Am I as big as the other suns in other galaxies?' No, it burns, it shines."

 I am a practicing Latter-Day-Saint, but I grew up surrounded by Jewish tradition from my father's side of the family. The rituals and remembrances of holidays like Passover and Hannukah hold deep importance for me. This year though, as we lit the Hannukah candles and my brother retold the story of the re-dedication of the temple, I began to think of the story in a different light....
A long, long time ago, around the 2nd century BC, a group of Jews revolted against the Greeks who were ruling them in order to regain the ability to worship their God. The Jewish temple had been completely defiled by the Greeks - a statue of Zeus erected in it. When the Maccabees won the temple back, they had to re-dedicate it, which involved a process of lighting oil in the temple over a span of eight days. However, they could only find a single jar of oil which would only provide fuel for a single night. And this is where it gets interesting, because they decide to light that bit of oil anyway. The miracle is that it lasted for all eight days. That's what we celebrate. 

Hannukah isn't actually a high-holy day for Jews. I love celebrating it, but always thought of it as the Jewish holiday which was blown out of proportion because it landed close to Christmas. But this year, I take it as a reminder of trust, and moving forward with faith. 

There's a lot of situations in life, when we feel that we do not have enough to accomplish what we need to do. Or enough to accomplish what others may demand from us. That feeling can be paralyzing. Sometimes, we want to count ourselves out before trying. Hannukah is a reminder to us that what little we bring may be sufficient. A reminder to move forward, trusting and praying that the difference will be filled in. 

Next semester, I'm starting a highly competitive program in my University. There was already one application process to fill 40 spots in the pre-major classes. At the end of the semester I'll submit a portfolio of my work. This, in conjunction with my grades and a professionalism score, will dictate whether or not I get in to the Industrial Design program. 

If  you know me, I'm great at catastrophizing. I was hesitant to put in the first application - sure I wouldn't make the cut. I'm grateful for the encouragement of friends. It's funny to me, that after all these years of formal education in Math, Science and English - booky subjects that I've excelled in - I want to go into something which is a completely new kind of skill. This is a field where you have classes on creative thinking. A field where instead of taking tests you build things in a lab full of power tools. 

I feel like I only bring a little bit with me. I have outlandish, creative ideas, a good background in drawing and a diligence in pursuing my goals. Instead of thinking that this is cannot possibly be enough, and instead of focusing on everyone else's amazing talent, I'm just going to light my oil and see how brightly it burns.