"The Way of G-d"
Part 2: “Divine Providence”
Chapter 3: “Personal Providence”
This chapter's entitled "personal providence" because it discusses the way
you and I interact with G-d in life, rather than how mankind in general does.
And as such, it touches closer to the bone.
As we've indicated before, our task in life is to choose right over wrong,
good over evil. But at bottom that comes to choosing good and right
character traits over their counterparts. Since our character determines
our actions, and our actions determine how close to G-d we get. But changing
our character for the better is indeed a challenge. in fact it's been said
that there are only two types of people in the world: those willing to
change, and those not; and that everything else about us is explained by
which one of them we are.
So each and every person is born into a vast and cacophonous array of
circumstances and phenomena which seem to defy order or purpose, and appear
random at best, or deliberately and cruelly confounding at worst.
Yet as every person of faith knows, there's certainly an agenda, if you
will-- a plan-- in place. There are actually two plans, though: a central
one, and an auxiliary, supporting one. The central one is beyond the scope of
our discussion here. But the auxiliary one, which we will discuss, is rooted
in our making the right ethical and spiritual choices.
And the "vast and cacophonous array of circumstances and phenomena" we cited
above all serve that end.
As such, G-d allowed for situations to exist in our lives that would either
vex us and thus challenge us to overcome, or that would tantalize us and thus
challenge us to transcend-- all so that we'd fulfill His wish that we better
ourselves spiritually and ethically.
So in a very real sense, everything we see and experience is meant to test
our mettle; to act as fodder for our ever-churning self to advance.
Let's consider abundance or the lack of it, for example. One person could be
wealthy and thus be challenged to be generous, humble, and spiritual; while
another could be poor and challenged to be satisfied with and grateful for
what he has. The same goes for other situations and the character traits
associated with them.
G-d has thus arranged the world in such a way that each one of us has a
unique situation to live under, a role to fulfill, an assignment to carry
out. And each one of us is recompensed according to how successful we've been.
Suffice it to say that the infinite number of details of how this touches
upon that, how that affects something else, and how it's all set in place to
help or hinder us in our life's role is far beyond our ken. Just know that
G-d Almighty, who knows and sees all, takes it all into account in His
interactions with us; and that His ways are just and fair.
This series is dedicated to the memory of Yitzchak Hehrsh ben Daniel,
and Sarah Rivka bas Yaakov Dovid.
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