Each year, Elul seems to bring challenges and decisions that have tremendous impact on my life. The practice of searching my spirit and soul for inspiration is a serious one for me and I am more introspective than usual in this month.
Trust and faith have been an integral part of my past year and pose an interesting dichotomy to me, for I find that I use each in my life and that they are inextricably linked. While many see them as one in the same, to me they are more of an arranged marriage with no possibility of divorce….Indulge me, and I will explain.
Faith is the sense of respect we must have if we believe that we are not alone in the universe. Faith manifests itself when I surrender to the possibility that someone, some energy, some combination of forces is guiding me towards a choice in life, a person, or a place where I am meant to be. This “leap” moves not from trust to faith, but rather from faith to trust. For trust, in my life, is a requirement, not a choice.
I must trust in hundreds of our community members each day. I must trust that the staff of the Levine JCC will each fulfill their responsibilities, that our members will adhere to the norms and guidelines that enable us to be a strong and healthy community, and that my children will be open to the learning that comes their way each and every day. In turn, I believe that I must earn the trust of others. Each day, I work tirelessly to earn your trust and then once earned, I work tirelessly to maintain that trust. The interesting part is that the trust many have in me is built upon the trust I have in countless others.
And that is where faith comes into the picture. Faith is married to trust and trust is married to faith. I can’t have one without the other. My faith this year has been strong. I had faith that the unexpected was meant to be, and it certainly was…. I had faith that my religious values could guide me to make decisions that will set a strong foundation for my sons, and they have….I had faith in my community to support and embrace me through times of challenge, and you have. I had faith that the trust I give each day would be rewarded – and it has been, time and time again.
Faith and trust are married and that marriage is a strong one, one earned over and over again each day through tireless effort and a pinch of faith.
Peter Blair is the CEO of the Levine Jewish Community Center. Peter is from Memphis, TN and has two children, Hudson (11) and Cohen (10). Peter feels it is important to give back to community, build upon the strength and success of past leaders, foster community partnerships and build the groundwork for a sustainable and meaningful tomorrow. He feels honored to have a leadership position in the Charlotte community.