Fall has arrived here in Israel. Thank G‑d! Rain has begun to fall. Few people grumble about the cold or the wetness — since the dire water shortage in our country is a concern shared by just about everyone. It's even common to hear an update of the status of the water level in Lake Kinneret announced on the news.

Many talk about the weather as though it's simply a fact of nature. They complain about the weather forecasters' inaccuracies. They regard the rain or lack of it as a result of chance. We have a different way of looking at life. Our experience in recovery has opened our eyes to an expanded version of reality.

In Step 2, we "came to believe that a power greater than ourselves" is actually in control. Although we may sometimes fool ourselves into thinking that we can run the show, when we are "restored to sanity" we identify with the Truth. We have learned (often the hard way) that we need to connect with G‑d in order to live a complete, healthy, sane, fulfilling, good life.

We read that in the Garden of Eden, although there were all variety of plants, there was no rain until Adam prayed for it to fall. Perhaps the vegetation could have survived from underground water sources, but Adam's responsibility was to ask G‑d to bestow his blessings on the garden.

Similarly, G‑d wants us to not only recognize that He is the source of everything, but also to attribute the bounty in our lives to Him. By strengthening our understanding that G‑d knows best how to take care of us and our needs, and by expressing gratitude to Him, we can actively participate in generating more goodness in the world.

Each Fall, on Shmini Atzeret we begin mentioning that G‑d “makes the wind blow and the rain descend” during each Amidah prayer. We postpone our formal request for rain, however, for 15 days — until the 7th of Cheshvan. Ostensibly, this delay was instituted as consideration to the travelers who had come to the Land of Israel for Sukkot in the days of the Holy Temple. It would take those coming from the farthest away that amount of time to return home.

Historically that makes perfect sense, but is there any additional relevance for us today in an age of high-speed travel? Aside from the fact that we continue the tradition of prayers instituted by our sages in their wisdom generations ago, we can benefit from exploring the symbolism of this delay. Perhaps there's a deeper meaning that relates to human nature, and the way in which we typically internalize ideas.

"The spiritual life is not a theory. We have to live it."- Big Book of AA pg. 83. Like it or not, there's frequently a lag between intellectually knowing a truth — until it becomes part of how we view the world. For many, it is not at all easy to follow the Twelve Steps. Just for today, we try to do what we know is best for us. We continue to struggle, and sometimes to feel pain, although we already "know" that G‑d is the One Ruler.

We come to realize that our efforts of control are often counterproductive. Like the delay between mentioning that G‑d, among other things, regulates rainfall, and praying for that blessing, we need time to make the journey from Step 2 to our ultimate goal in Step 12 – "to practice these principles in all our affairs."

May Israel's need for rain be a reminder that G‑d, in His limitless mercy, is constantly "ready" to shower down His blessings on us. Our challenge is to humbly receive, and to constantly cultivate an attitude of thankfulness. When we can achieve that, we will merit all the myriad blessings G‑d has in store for us.