We count so much of life. We count the hours in a day. We count the numbers in our bank accounts. But do we count what matters most?
What about counting the number of blessings we say each day? (The Jewish sages said we should say at least 100 of them) What about counting the number of times we say “thank you”?
What about simply counting each day as a gift from God?
In the Jewish calendar, we are in the midst of a period of counting called the Sfira. Sfira is the counting of the days between the holiday of Passover and Shavuot. This period is also known as the Omer.
Every day Jews say a blessing acknowledging that today is the “18th” or the “25th” day of the counting of the Omer.
This simple act heeds the biblical call to “number our days so we gain a heart of wisdom.” We do not count only as part of a quest to achieve some far-off goal.
We count to appreciate. We count to savor. We count what counts.
As a great rabbi put it, “Too often, we live exclusively goal-oriented lives; moving from accomplishment to accomplishment, from milestone to milestone, rarely stopping to appreciate the significance of each passing day.”
“And yet, when all is said and done, the quality of the journey, in large measure, defines our lives—and the ordinary moments spent with family and friends are as significant, if not more significant, than the milestones themselves.”
To that we can only say Amen. For more about the origins of the counting of the omer, see chapter 2 of www.rabbimoffic.com/passoverbook