Life is So Precious

Written by Jacob on Sunday, 26 July 2015. Posted in Motivation and Inspiration

{source}<p><p>This morning I went to a cemetery to make a minyan for the stone setting of someone from our community. Walking through the cemetery made me think to myself how precious my life is. What are the odds of me being alive today? It is humbling to fathom how small it is. But we know that life isn't run by chance. It can't be. Nothing just 'happens'. I see thousands of kevarim of people whom their neshamos are no longer with them. They no longer have the opportunity to become a better person; they are who they are and that is it. This thought scares me. A lack of life means the lack of potential. We mourn over a loss, even though they are in a better place, because they have lost the chance to make more of themselves. That is it. Times up! In the world of reality I have to accept that my life will end. It will happen one day. If I escape from this fact then I am living in a world of fantasy. The real world is all about work. Exploiting the potential that each and everyone of us have within us to unleash. </p><p> Have you ever been sitting on a bus and you see that the person next to you just throws out a ten pound note. Then five minutes later he does it again. And again...... and again. This keeps happening every five minutes until the bus comes to his stop. On his way out he asks you for some money because he's running low. You would think this guy is crazy! Now, what's more important to you? 5 minutes or 10 pounds. We might be going on the same 1 hour bus journey every day. But what are we actually doing? So the first two minutes we have a look at the nice scenery, the hills and the tress. After a while, the cash register starts ringing up more wasted time. Ding dong! Ding dong! Growing as person all begins with a decision, a commitment. Try saying aloud: “Life is an opportunity. I want to use my mind, and be constantly moving toward my goal.” </p> We live in a world which glorifies doing nothing. What is the opposite of pain? 9/10 people will say "pleasure". This is a myth. The actual opposite of pain is 'no pain' - i.e. - comfort. If we go through life chasing comfort we will be very disappointed in the end. If you spend a life avoiding pain, you will miss out on the deepest pleasures. As much as everyone tries to minimize pain in life, the fact remains that pain is unavoidable. Everything has its ups and downs. Therefore, if we want to succeed in life, the key is not to eliminate pain entirely (for that is impossible), but rather to learn how to understand and accept the pain. Every moment we’re alive, we’re using our free will to choose between life and death, reality or escapism. It’s a constant choice. We’re either making the choice to take the pain in order to grow, or we’re quitting.Which is not to suggest that we should go out of our way to seek difficulties. But if there is a process that we must undergo, then it’s foolish to avoid it. Too often we busy ourselves with petty distractions, in order to escape the confrontation with reality. But it always catches up with us eventually. Because it’s part and parcel of our reason for being, all part of the Grand Eternal Plan. Effort is a process that each of us has to go through. We have crucial life lessons to learn, and it’s precisely for that reason our souls have come to earth in the first place. Our greatness is found in using our free will to resolve conflict, fight and accomplish. To bite the bullet and not run away.You know you’ve got what it takes. Now go and get it. </p> <p></p>Every morning when we wake up we say "Modeh Ani" - thankful am I. Thank you Hashem that you have returned my neshama to me. Everyday is a gift from Hashem. Every minute that we have when we are alive is Hashem showing us that He has faith in us to make the right decisions. Don't waste this time living someone else's life! This time is for your life! We get tests and challenges because Hashem loves us to much to leave us the way we are. Hashem wants us to make ourselves otherwise if He did it for us then He would just be making a world of robots. Hashem gave us the power to make ourselves because He wants a relationship with us. All Hashem wants to do is to give us His love but this can only be done if we let Him in by facing our challenges. <p></p> This is a challenge even to the most 'successful' people. They work all year in order to make a lot of money to afford a two week vacation. I don't want to live two weeks a year. I want to live everyday! The only way to live every day is by utilising the tools that we have been given. Hashem has given us Torah and Mitzvos to help shape us into the maximum me that 'I' could be.<p></p> There is a moshul about an army conquering a country. If you drew a map of the battlefield you will see cities which are quite safe and are out of enemies hand. Closer to the front lines there are cities which are very vulnerable. Then there are the cities which are literally within tank range. Eventually we get to the town which is in sniper range of the enemy. We are living this battle. All we can control is what happens on the battle line and NOTHING else. Once we conquer a kilo-meter, we move the battle lines a bit. Suddenly goals which we though were out of reach are very capable for us to do now. The same goes the other way. The point is that we just need to focus on what we can do at the battle line. Hashem has put us here and this is all that He wants us to achieve. If He has put you there. He will bring you through it. <p></p>Let's try and work on this one day at a time and ask ourselves - what does Hashem want from me NOW. What can I do to make the absolute most out of today. The pasuk says: 'These are the matters which I have commanded you TODAY'. Focus on conquering the battles which are in reach one day at a time. Not tomorrow, not 10 years from now. Just the present moment. {/source}

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