Photo Credit: Jodie Maoz

We all come into this world small, preciously innocent and completely vulnerable. However, we each come with a very heavy load. One might be born into a rich and famous family, while another is sent to a poor and struggling one. How many challenges will one face during his lifetime? How many tears will be shed? How much joy will come to us? And how do we make it through the long ‘train ride’ without forgetting that there is a conductor driving the train and that we are not alone.

A baby smiles and is free of worry since his parents take care of all his needs. As we grow up and become more independent, we tend to think that we are in charge and that everything is in our hands. This is where we begin to get derailed. While it is true that we must do everything we can to be in charge of our lives, we must not forget that there is a conductor.

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We learn about this conductor from the time we are very little and yet we forget about Him and need to be reminded. How is it that we remember so many difficult things such as a complicated math equation or the detailed information for a university exam, but when it comes to who is really in charge of our lives, we need to be reminded. We get so caught up in our everyday life that we forget the conductor.

I, like many others, have many challenges. We are all familiar with the expression that G-d only tests a person if He feels that person can withstand the test. I have a different take on this. I feel that G-d sends us new challenges that we feel are way over our heads. And He is actually saying, “I know that this is way over your head, but I miss you and I want to hear you call upon me and ask for my hand and my help.”

Imagine, on a much smaller scale, your young child comes home every day to his parents who meet all of his needs. He has food, clothing, a warm bed and a lot of love as soon as he walks in the door. The child gets so used to all that he has, that he doesn’t necessarily appreciate all the goodness that is given to him. Until one day he forgets his key and he is locked out of his house and no one is at home to let him in. Instantly his world is shattered and he begins to cry. Where are my parents? What should I do? How long can I stand outside? It might only be for 20 minutes, but to this child it feels like an eternity. When his parents arrive the child is overwhelmed with love for them and his appreciation for all that he gets from them has grown.

When we ‘get locked out’ and are suddenly forced to cry and to reach out to our father in heaven, it is simply G-d letting us know that He misses us and has not heard from us in a long time and just wanted us to turn to Him. When we are broken inside without our pride we become like that young child, vulnerable and dependent. Hugging a sweet child is the easiest thing in the world. Hugging an arrogant, hotheaded person is much more difficult.

Let us remember who is in charge and who gives us all the blessings that we have. No matter what we are missing, we can still be thankful to Hashem for what we do have. Remember to look heavenward every day and to say thank you Father for all that you have given me. If you get used to doing that, you will find that you have more patience to deal with whatever comes your way.

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Michal can be reached at michal@jewishpress.com