Here We Go!

Quest2019 is a go, and I’m starting off with a prompt that wonder tracker Jeffrey Davis provided last week as we prepared for Week 1.

Devotion is a “profound dedication.” It’s what separates the fantasizers from the actualizers. It’s what happens when you stand in love with a dream that really matters. It’s a quality that grants you the courage, the heart fuel, to surmount unpredictable difficulties.”

 

This year, I am devoted to ______________.

Chanukah and the Quest

The start of this year’s Quest coincides with the first night of Chanukah, the Jewish holiday that commemorates freedom, and symbolizes bringing light to the darkness. The word Chanukah means dedication.

Origin Story

Chanuka’s origin story is one of a great battle fought by the Maccabees against an oppressive Greek regime. It tells of a miracle that happened when the Jews reclaimed and began rebuilding their war-damaged temple.

The story tells us that there was just a one day supply of the oil needed to keep a holy light burning in the temple. It would take eight days to make more oil. Miraculously that one-day supply lasted for the eight days needed before more oil was ready.

This  story is more myth than truth. Yet it’s important themes, of freedom and liberation, of courage and persistence, ring true throughout our history. Chanukah represents bringing light into darkness, an idea found in diverse cultural traditions and holidays celebrated the world over as we retreat into a time of darkness and contemplation.

Collective Strength and Persistence

The Chanukah menorah (candle holder) holds nine candles. This allows for a shamesh candle to light the others, empowering them to serve their purpose. We light one candle on the first night, and add one each subsequent night. We fill the menorah from right to left, and light the candles from left to right. Night by night we demonstrate our collective strength and persistence that grows as darkness gathers.

While I remember learning that shamesh means “leader,” my recent readings tell me that the word means “servant.”  Perhaps the shamesh is a servant-leader, dedicated to helping others to reach their fullest potential. And perhaps that is one part my devotion.

My Devotion for 2019

We light the candle for the first night of Hanukkah as a dedication to kindness, hesed. Let us always be kind to other people and animals, by trying to understand their feelings and by helping them. This will help make us and the whole world more compassionate.

~  Rabbi Binyamin Biber

(from Hannuka Candle Lighting “Dedication” Readings)

For day one of the Quest, for the first night of Chanukah, for 2019, my profound dedication is to kindness.

My dedication is to self-compassion, for that is the source that allows me to feel and express compassion for others.

My dedication is to empathy, to listening with open heart and mind to my own inner voice and to that of others.

These dedications, these works in progress infuse my life and inform how I set about creating my #BestYear as #WeQuest for 2019.

Hear from other Questers

There are so many of us running in the Quest pack! Look for us on social media, using #WeQuest and #BestYear. And come run with us! Find out how at Quest2019.

Alicia K. Anderson envisions her best year.

Tim Snell invites readers to share in his Quest for 2019.

Watch for more this week, and throughout December.

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