It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that Prague is one of my favorite cities in the world. The Czech capital is so filled with magic and mystery that I have found myself captivated by the architecture, history, music, and culture. If you haven’t had a chance to visit, I highly recommend putting it on the top of your bucket list.

One of the interesting points of Prague’s history is the origin of its name. In Czech, the name for Prague is “Praha.” In old Czech, “Praha” doubles as a noun and a name (in the same way “Lily” can be a flower or a name.) As a name, “Praha” just means “Prague.” As a noun, “Praha” means “threshold.” Legend says that the name was given to the region by prophetess Libuse, who on the bank of the Vltava River, predicted that a golden city would rise to great prominence in the area.

To continue with this vocabulary lesson, I looked up the word “threshold.” One definition I found was “a gate, or door at an entrance.” Another definition was “the point at which an effect begins to be produced.”

Combining the two, I see a fitting definition as “the entrance to or beginning of…”

Sometimes in life, I feel stuck at the threshold. Like Libuse, there are times I look around and think, “something great is going to happen here” but I often lack the patience and the faith to see it come about. Perhaps this is how the Jews felt leaving slavery in Egypt. A sense of, “we are going to the promise land,” “something great is going to happen here…” but they also lacked the patience and the faith to see it through.

But in these threshold moments, where we may waiver or lose hope that any effect could begin to be produced, I am reminded of God’s words to the prophet Joshua and the Jews. In Joshua 1:9, God says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."

Anywhere you are may be a gate or doorway to a new opportunity. Any moment, an effect could begin to be produced. May we pray for the strength and the courage to embrace these thresholds and the patience and faith to see them through.

Zach Herzog

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