At this moment I’m writing this column with a deep flu, fever, sore throat and shivers across my whole body. It’s been a long time since I’ve gotten to this situation. It’s been a while since I stopped the marathon and lay down in bed for a few days without being able to function. I try to envision what it would be like if my parents weren’t here to take care of my 2 year old son when I don’t even have the strength to stand. I used to take it for granted but now I know that even a thousand “thank you”s couldn’t express how much I thank them and admire them for their giving.
These days taught me a lesson. A little germ can completely overturn your life! Without any preparation you just fall into bed powerless, feeling useless and just waiting to get back into routine… yes that very routine you always complain about: To go back to the work that you don’t like or to chase after your children, laundry or shopping. You don’t stop complaining about how tired you are and how badly you need a vacation and this little germ comes along and stops everything!
Sometimes you just have to stop. Stop the marathon chasing after wishes and desires. Stop chasing after extra overtime hours. We think we will be victorious in this marathon but we don’t realize that perhaps we will be victorious, but it’s against ourselves. So either way we come out losing.
Man wants to swallow the world! He’s certain that he can control it all. He has no doubt that if he works those extra hours then he’ll earn more. But the Torah says that a person’s sustenance for this year is allotted to him on Rosh Hashanah. This means that then it was written how much he will earn every month that year. So we can understand that it doesn’t matter if you work more or worry more, how much you’ll get was already written up. And when you are unsuccessful in attaining more money you are broken and desperate.
Another person is certain that because of his good looks or profession he will find his perfect soul-mate and the years go by, date after date and no match is in sight. This person goes around mourning as if his life ended.
Someone doesn’t feel well, takes a pill and waits for it to start working its wonders. “This pill is the best” he says and he’s certain it’s the pill bringing the recovery. The pill….
We think we can rule the world! That is the main reason why we’re disappointed and broken. We’ve failed something that was never our purpose or job.
G-d has all the keys. He is the only one who can decide if the pipe will be open or closed. It’s true we need to make an effort but we must understand that not everything is in our hands. When we start to truly understand and internalize this, our lives will become much easier. Look for a moment at your little child. When he’s hungry, thirsty, needs a new diaper, he fell or can’t fall asleep what does he do? He calls “Mommy! Daddy!” He knows that he doesn’t prepare or buy his own food so he needs to ask and Mommy will immediately prepare it for him.
We are the same. If we know and understand that G-d is the sustainer and provider of all living things we will start to truly rely on Him knowing that He worries for us more than we worry for ourselves. If we come close to Him and show him that we believe in Him with total belief, the pipes will start flowing; and if the pipe is shut inspite of your efforts, try to understand the message being sent to you. If you’re lacking in livelihood, perhaps you don’t tithe your money for charity giving 10%. Perhaps you forgot you owe someone money. Inadvertent theft also withholds livelihood. And if you find your end is okay and this is what G-d decided, know that everything He does is for the good. You are missing something now? That is for your good. You may not understand it now but know that a day will come when you will understand it all. “Cast your burden on G-d and He will provide for you”- we received this promise from G-d that if we rely on Him He will help. Isn’t it worth a try?
The same thing with finding a match. If you rely on yourself and your attributes to find the perfect wife you’re making a mistake! The sole matchmaker who since Adam and Eve has done this for 5777 years is
G-d, King of kings. He is the only one that knows exactly what you need. He knew before you were born who your match would be. So to come down on yourself because you haven’t found your match yet is a mistake! It’s not in your hands!
We think the medicine works and that’s how we get better, but G-d makes the medicine work. True you need to go to the doctor but did you pray to the Healer of all ills so that He should heal you? He is the one who will guide your doctor to find or not find the problem, to pick the correct medicine and allow it to work at the time He decides it will work if at all. So you should precede your efforts with prayer and you will see the blessings materialize.
We can’t control the world! But we can convince G-d to give us because we deserve it. By truly relying on Him we can cause G-d to pour on us great and endless bounty. One of the things that helped me on my path to repentance was the knowledge that I’m not in control of everything. I don’t control the world as I once thought. This freed me and allowed me to stop chasing after myself and feeling like a failure. I always felt I wasn’t good enough, wise enough or pretty enough; otherwise why was I having problems finding a match? Or why is there difficulty with livelihood or health problems? Now, I know I need to make an effort and that’s it! I go to work to do my effort but it’s clear to me there is no correlation between my hours and my earnings. If more money is coming to me it will come one way or another.
The same thing with expenditures; you can save up and suddenly you need to pay for a parking ticket. I used to get angry, now I know that any sin a person commits gets judged in the heavenly court. There, G-d in His great compassion chooses the smallest possible punishment that he could give. So when I get a parking ticket or I get the flu, I’m happy and grateful all day! I know it could have been something worse, G-d forbid, but they were compassionate with me from the heavens, so do I have a right to complain?
The moment we succeed to understand and accept that the Creator is much wiser than us, we will have it easier. There are things here we just can’t control because we can’t even understand them! Things that human understanding cannot begin to fathom…so let G-dly understanding do the job.
We have to know how to let go… to know that everything is from G-d and if we truly rely on Him we will make Him happy. If we do just a bit for Him, He will do for us many times over. Sometimes you just have to let go… to lean back and enjoy the journey confident in the knowledge that the pilot navigating your journey is the ruler of the world, total goodness and He’s your father. There’s nothing better than that!