Once we view the obstacles and difficulties of life through genuine eyes of emuna, our entire outlook does a complete turnaround for the best. Once we think in a positive mode, things actually turn out positive.
People think that GPS stands for “Global Positioning System” – technically, they’re correct. But on a deeper level, GPS stand for G-d’s Personal Supervision of each of our lives down to the most minute detail. Our first principle of emuna teaches us that everything comes from the Almighty. Life’s obstacles and difficulties are no exception.
To understand yourself better and understand what’s going on in your life right now, I’m going to tell you a parable about three types of people who think they have emuna yet encounter an obstacle in the road. They’re driving to an urgent meeting in a neighboring city and all of a sudden, they discover that a whole section of the road was washed away in a rain-storm flash-flood from the previous night. How do the three different types react?
1. The Stubborn Person
The first person, the stubborn one, says to himself that no obstacle will stop him. He’s the one with the diehard counterfeit emuna that vetoes common sense. He thinks that he’s Moses or at least Elijah the Prophet. “The Almighty can get me through this,” he tells himself. Sir Headstrong is going to keep on going and cross that road no matter what, flash flood or not. He tries to find where the water is most shallow and where the rut in the road is not so deep. Headstrong, he drives his car right into the water, which is much stronger than he thought. He gets washed away and not only misses the meeting, but misses the rest of his life.
2. The Fatalist
The second one is the fatalistic one. He knows that the flash flood comes from the Almighty. Yet, his brain and his heart are not synchronized. In other words, he has emuna in his brain, for he knows that Hashem and Torah are true, but he doesn’t believe with his heart. His head drops and he starts crying. “I’m going to miss my meeting. I would have made a deal that would have insured a whole year’s income. Now, who knows how I’ll make a living,” and he bawls like a baby. He’s immobilized with no hope, because the Creator has ruined his plans and he doesn’t understand why. What’s worse, he’s miserable and even resentful because he thinks that the Almighty is unfairly tormenting him.
3. The Pragmatist
The third one is the pragmatist who applies his emuna to every situation in life, from prayer and meditation to mowing the lawn or crossing the street. He lives his life with emuna and common sense. He won’t roller skate in the middle of I95 and then roll his eyes in fantasyland thinking that he won’t be run over by an 18-wheeler. The individual with the practical emuna says to himself, “OK, Hashem has put a flashflood on my route so the option of continuing on this road no longer exists. Hashem wants me to pick another route. So, opens his car’s GPS and hits the option for recalculating the route. Lo and behold, the GPS shows him two different alternatives that he never even knew about.
The first option was a very scenic route but the second was a wider road that made driving easier. Sure, both alternate routes would take a little longer to reach the destination, but that’s no big deal, for he simply makes a phone call and informs the other party of the flash flood that forced him to make a detour and his expected arrival time. He arrives at the meeting and everything turns out fine. And, even if the GPS doesn’t give him an alternative route, he utilizes the Zoom app to his phone and ends up having a virtual meeting with this colleague. In other words, he works within the limitations that the Creator sends him and he flows with Hashem’s strategy for running the world.
What do we learn from all this? Especially now, we’re all discovering a new reality. We can’t always travel when and where we want. Commerce is different. Shopping is different. People think twice if an outing is necessary or not, especially in places where there are high levels of infection. Hashem wants us to do what we can within the limitations at hand. We discover new and better routes. Maybe we never knew that there was a supermarket in our area that enables purchasing online. All of a sudden, we see things delivered to our door and save all kinds of time that we can use for better things.
Many of us discover that for the first time in our lives, we’re investing time in our homes and families, in our spouses and in our children. With emuna, we know that Hashem is doing everything for the best. Maybe until now, our situation at work was tolerable but no better that that. Hashem now wants us all to recalculate. For sure, each one of us will get a better route in life, one that strengthens our faith. That’s the emuna GPS, G-d’s Personal Supervision, the way of bringing all of us closer to Him, amen!
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