The medrish relates that Avraham Avinu came to the conclusion that there is a G-d because it isn’t possible that such a fantastic and well-orchestrated world should just happen by itself. Avraham stated “if there is a world, there must be a Gd.” But what was special about this since all the people of Avraham’s time also believed in a god? What was unusual about Avraham’s belief? Was it that he just picked the right god?
To explain this idea, the medrish uses a parable about a person who journeys from place to place, sees a palace and asks “could this palace just happen by itself?” I would like to ask two questions on this medrish: 1) Why does it discuss a person who journeys from place to place and 2) why a palace? Couldn’t the medrish have used the example of a person that was residing in a simple room, and still come to the same conclusion?
Have you ever visited a palace? The first time someone visits such a structure, their breath is taken away. But the palace’s cleaning lady just does not seem to have the same appreciation. She is used to the ornate building; used to the exquisitely decorated rooms, and she sees the whole structure as just a large number of functional rooms. The guest, however, notices the luxuriousness of each room, the intricate architectural details, and the interwoven themes as he moves from one part of the palace to the other. That grandeur is lost to the locals.
The people in the times of Avraham each had their own concerns and desires, and those ideas they worshipped and formed a god to represent their lives. A person in a room represents one individual with his god. Many rooms are many individuals and many different gods. They miss the point that there is a fantastic world, much greater than they, around them. Avraham Avinu was great enough to see beyond himself and therefore he saw the entire world coming together.
Many times we too take for granted all the good that we have. We can talk, breath, speak, walk, work, think. But instead of focusing on these good things, we often focus on the things that are bothering us and the things that we still want to accomplish, downsizing the unbelievable amount of good that surrounds us. If we take a lesson from Avraham, and look at the “big picture” that we are blessed to be part of, we will realize that those things that seem to us as an imperfection are actually part of the “grand perfect picture.” We have this ability because we are descendants of Avraham Avinu.