Our time down here on planet earth is very limited. The most long-lived of us can look forward to a maximum of 120 years, and G-d gives us that time to do a specific spiritual job. If we don't work to amass the merits and credits that we were sent down here to get, then we have to start all over again, from the beginning. G-d is going to keep sending us down here, as various reincarnations, until we do the job we were sent to do.
The good news is that ultimately, we are all guaranteed success. Our prophets tell us that all of the nations of the world are going to know G-d. Even the “evil” nations are going to realize that all of their prestige and all of their material advantages need to be put at the service of those people who are close to G-d, and who aren't afraid of taking risks, and experiencing some pain and suffering.
But even before we get to that “ultimate' stage”, the people who are willing to live with uncertainty will already have a much higher-quality life in the here and now. This is because when people demand, either explicitly or implicitly, that everything should be exactly the way they want it to be, they are dooming themselves to a life of misery, because it's never going to be that way.
If our blueprint doesn't fit with G-d's plans for our life, then we're going to be profoundly unhappy. But when we can change our blueprint, and alter it according to the circumstances that we find ourselves in, and according to the Heavenly hints and directions that we are constantly receiving, then we'll all get to where we need to go in life, even if it's not what we ourselves originally planned.
Here’s an example…
Someone I know was recently negotiating with a landlord for the opportunity to move his family to an apartment that was going to cut his rent in half. The man had been struggling to pay the rent for a few months, and he was relishing the idea of moving to a cheaper apartment in a different part of town, that would give him a better standard of living, for a lot less money. He looked around and found a great apartment, and was all set to sign on the new place. But…the landlord started to come up with some conditions that made our potential renter feel very uncomfortable. He wanted three months' rent in advance; he didn't want to fix anything that was broken in the apartment; and he wanted an extra month's rent paid to cover the month's rent he lost when the previous tenants ran off.
On the one hand, it was a great apartment, in a great neighborhood, at an extremely attractive price. But even though it was a very good deal in many ways, our potential renter decided against doing the deal. “Something” (an embedded message from G-d) was telling him that he was asking for trouble, to pursue the deal as it stood, with the landlord acting in such a selfish, dishonest way. He continued to have faith that G-d would send him something even better, and kept praying for the “better deal” to appear.
A couple of days' later, our potential renter got a phone call from the real estate agent, telling him some amazing news: continue...
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Have a wonderful Shabbos my friends,
Dr. Zev Ballen
Dr. Zev Ballen