The rav asked if we could take a break from our regular halachah shiur and learn a piece from Rabbeinu Yona on bitachon (trust in Hashem). We were all in agreement. The main thought of the shiur was that in every action, big or small, we undertake, we should ask Hashem for our success.
The following week I was tested twice on this subject matter. Once I passed and once I nearly didn’t.
I had been aware of a constant puddle of water on the floor of my kids’ bathroom for too long. I had the general sense of what was the problem and even more or less how to deal with it. The problem was that my efforts were not solving the issue. Ignoring it, as in most problems, just made the matter worse. The bathtub drains into the sewage via a small pipe. If the pipe gets clogged (with the long hair of teenage girls), the drain water pushes up the covered hole in the bathroom floor and gets the floor wet.
Problem number one: I had been trying off and on to dislodge that cover off the hole, to clean out the pipe. With no success. When ignoring the wet floor was no longer an option, I had to be able to pull up that hole cover or call a repairman. I was quite determined to deal with this myself. I braced myself and repeatedly asked Hashem to help me. I knew I didn’t fully know what I was doing. I had tried all sorts of sharp thin objects, i.e. knives, flathead screwdrivers, spatulas to try to pry the lid off the hole. Nothing worked. When a neighbor mentioned a screwdriver, I took out a Philips and behold the lid popped open. Thank you Hashem.
Next I asked His assistance in clearing out the pipe. It took me a few minutes to realize I would need to pull the little elbow-shaped pipe out to clear out the debris. In the words of all good handymen, “there was enough hair in that pipe to make a sheitel.”
The third problem arose upon trying to get the pipe back into its hole. Again I asked Hashem to assist me. That was when I realized that there were two holes. One for the water of the bathtub to drain into the pipe and one for the water to drain out to the sewage. Once I found the correct hole, the pipe was easily snapped into place and I felt like a conquering hero (with Hashem’s help, of course). Throughout the whole procedure, I asked for His help and he led me to a positive outcome.
The second test came later that same day. In the midst of a lively game, my dear son tore the special adapter in the wall for the telephone and internet. This was particularly vexing as not so long before, I had spent time setting up the telephone and internet line when a different socket in the wall had become damaged.
I scrounged around my house in search of spare plugs. While I found one that worked for the phone line, I was not able to get my internet back. I tried repeatedly, but the internet light remained stubbornly red, indicating that it was not connecting. I needed it to turn to white. I thought about everything in my life that depended on having a working internet and was determined to get it working.
I asked my neighbors if they had the needed adaptor. They gave me a bag of them and slowly I tried them one after another. The same conundrum occurred. I could get a phone line but the internet was not turning white. I had 15 minutes to get to the local hardware store to get the hopefully right piece. Racing back into the house, I paused and realized I had left out the most important step. I stopped, breathed and said, “Hashem, please help me to get everything working. I can’t do this without You.”
Steadily I approached the socket in the wall, added the appropriate adapters, plugged in the phone and heard a dial tone. Thank you Hashem and now please let the router turn on too. Then I plugged in the router for the internet and waited with bated breath to see if the light would turn white. A watched pot doesn’t boil, so I left the room to put together some form of dinner. A few minutes later one of the kids joyfully told me our internet was working once again. A big sigh of relief and an equally big thank you to the One Above.
I think I learned my lesson, with Hashem’s help.