During the first days of Sukkot, one of my hosts decided to read aloud from a sefer about waiting for Mosiach. Since most of what I had previously heard about Mosiach was wrapped in a Lubavitcher bow, I found it fascinating to get the yeshivish perspective.
In essence, the general principle I took away from that reading was that to the degree a person recognizes s/he is in galus and yearns for Mosiach, that is the degree to which that person will experience Mosiach once he comes. To reword, the degree to which we are sensitive to our being in galus is the degree to which we will experience/merit the joy that accompanies Mosiach. Our entire vocabulary for living and experiencing will have to be overhauled, and our perception will be sensitive to the same degree we perceived a lack previously.
Now, I don't know about you, but that message really drilled into my consciousness. I was lying in bed last night thinking about how most of us just go about our day thinking that things are normal; we generally live without truly recognizing that life as we know it is a sham. We're sheep!, I thought, being lead to the slaughter, and we just bah bah our way up the ramp to our miserable end. Well, that's got to end, I figured. So here is what I'm planning to do for yours truly.
First, I decided that the source of the problem in general is that I don't exist in a state of constantly understanding that my life is not as it should be. Case in point, this week we should all be in Yerushalyim, experiencing the Water Libation. Instead, I accept, albeit sadly, that we have no Beit HaMigdash and that I consequently find myself in Brooklyn. But what if I choose instead to constantly exist in the shadow of the fact that my life is actually miserable? What if I recognized that my daily existence was spiritually far below where it should be, and that my sole purpose in life should be to act in a way that will elevate not only my existence but the entire world's? I suspect that if I managed to live my life with that focus, I would suddenly find my life much more aligned with Torah and mitzvot.
That reading in the Sukkah then, acted as a peephole onto Things as They Should Be, as well as Things as They Are. Hopefully that little wake up call will cause me to change my life in a way that will, when Mosiach arrives, enable me to partake in that era in all its glory...while helping save the world at the same time. Now that's an existence worth living!