two things.

When two people commit to marry each other, there is no guarantee to either of them that the one they love isn’t lying to and using them. There’s no guarantee that neither will walk away from the marriage someday. But the bride and groom still can commit their lives to each other with a solemn promise and with sincere hope and intention. Many valuable relationships have been formed in that way, with wisdom and faithfulness.

It’s like this when we make a commitment to give our whole life to God, part by part with His help, and to belong to Him and love Him. Who are we making the promise to? Are we promising ourselves that we’ll always believe in Him? No. Are we making an abstract promise that we’ll never turn away from seeking Him? No. We are promising Him… the one who made us and the God with whom we have a relationship.

For sure, it’s important to hold ourselves to our promises in times of confusion about whether He hears and cares, or times of apathy.

But making the promise is not a refusal to ever look or listen to any signs of truth that might be contrary to what we promised. Instead, it’s a marriage to the one we know now to be our whole world, with eyes towards a future in His ways alone.

Something else. It means a lot to spend time with the community of people you’re seeking God alongside and to pray and live before Him with them. Being there is a blessing, and it’s also an important aspect of the commitment to seek God wholeheartedly. This Shabbos I’m not well and I don’t want to miss shul but I’ll have to; in this case I’m blessed to feel that the only place to be is with God, anywhere. I hope that for people who are too sick, too old, too isolated in any way, to spend time with the community for some time… that they will know the encouragement and value of that gift. Thank God that we can know Him, and be His, both together and alone in ways that mean everything.

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