I was recently walking by an area that was under construction and I noticed a yellow and black caution sign nearby the work zone, which read as follows: Please excuse our appearance while we’re under construction.
I immediately took a picture of the sign, so I wouldn’t forget about it, knowing with full certainty that I was going to passionately write about this terribly ugly signage. Now, the sign itself wasn’t ugly per se, rather, the message it portrayed is what was ugly and should be frowned up.
To say it bluntly, I couldn’t disagree more with the verbiage of this sign. When something is under construction, that is not a reason to feel the need to announce to the public an apology to “please excuse our appearance.” When it comes to life, if you are “under construction,” working on yourself, then guess what? That is the most beautiful appearance in the world at the present moment.
If you are working on yourself, on your thoughts, on your Shmiras einayim, on your davening, on your Shmiras halashon, on your time management, or whatever it is… THAT is not a reason to feel sorry about how it is you look to others. On the contrary, working on yourself and being “under construction” is so beautiful, healthy, and holy.
Hashem put us down here on this world to work on ourselves and become elevated through that process of being under construction. So why hide it? Why push it under the rug? Why shrug it off? Face it and embrace it. Have someone or multiple “someone’s” in your life that you can share your struggles with.
I struggle with concentration during Shemoneh Esrei. There, I said it.
I have a hard time with time management. Ahh, that felt good.
I struggle with self-doubt and low self-esteem. I feel so much better.
When we don’t run away, but rather learn to embrace our humanity and our personal set of challenges, then we can be confident and proud that we are “under construction,” and we won’t feel like we need to be excused.
The Torah – yet again – throughout the Parshios of Vayakhel and Pekudei depict the various components and construction elements of the Mishkan. The Torah spends dozens upon dozens of pesukim and multiple Parshios discussing the Mishkan. And by the way, an interesting fact about the Mishkan is that it was taken down and set up, taken down and set up, and so on and so forth. This happened many times throughout the Jewish people’s journey through the desert. The Mishkan – a holy abode that housed the Divine – was constantly “under construction.” And so are we.
Have a holy Shabbos!