Just a recent thought from my heart…
A few nights ago, I realized the most subtle and powerful tactic of the Yetzer Hara to keep us from the things Hashem is trying to do in our lives: Good Things. What do I mean by that? Let me explain…
As my wife and I were just getting into bed for the night, she said that she had a restless feeling, and really felt a need to pray. She shared a little bit about that with me, and then after a few minutes of discussing what she felt, she reached over and grabbed her book on modesty with the intent of studying. This in and of itself is a wonderful thing. The book she is studying (Modesty, An Adornment for Life) is a wonderful work based on insights into the Scriptures in regard to modest dress and behavior. However, studying was not the most important thing at the time. Hashem had beckoned to her to speak to Him. She had gotten distracted. The very thing that was good, had been substituted for what was best. I gently put my hand on her and said, “Sweetheart, I know that’s a wonderful thing, but that’s not what you are supposed to be doing right now. You are supposed to be praying.” She immediately acknowledged the rightness of this statement, smiled, put her book away and got up to pray.
This battle was won. But how many in our day to day existences are lost? I’m not saying prayer is always better than study. I’m saying that if Hashem has a specific mission for us at any time day and night, and we substitute it for “the next best thing” we have missed out. It could be praying rather than giving tzeddikah, or giving of our time to a person in need while our children are left needing. The tool of the Adversary is deception, and the best form of deception is when it’s 99% truth mixed with 1% lies. Our enemy doesn’t attempt to deceive us with blatant wickedness, but with compromise and self-justification.
I was talking with a dear friend just this morning. He’s come to me over the last few months for advise and help getting his spiritual bearings back after being knocked around like a rag doll at sea for the past few years. After much discussion, it was concluded that this was his case. He had settled for the good, but not Hashem’s best time after time. After many years of this compromising, it has lead him to a point where he doesn’t have his own convictions or values. His convictions have been determined by his circumstances, rather than the revelation of Hashem and His Torah. He is having to start at the very beginning and re-shape his core understanding and ask big questions, like “Who is Hashem?” and “What is our responsibility to Him?” This is a scary place to be. My friend has made the bold confession that he is at this point. However, many of us are already there, yet don’t even know it. Are you? Am I? We must shake ourselves and awake from our slumber in order to impact a generation of hopelessness and despair. We must quit settling for the deception of good in order to obtain the best.
Rise up O Generation of slumbering spiritual giants! Rise up for the Kingship of Hashem!
- I Am Thankful
- My Son’s Health
- The Challenge of Prayer
- Honoring the Sabbath
- My Son’s Health (Follow Up)