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Thought for the Day: Obvious Lessons

This morning I woke up to snow... expected, but still not welcome so early.  Nice, heavy snow; good upper body workout.  I got the sidewalk cleared, then went to learn and daven.  I hurried out to skedaddle (did you know that word shows up in spell check!?!) out to catch my bus to the Brown Line to get to work as on time as possible.  Aargh...  it had snowed more while I had been doing HaShem a favor by learning and davening (k'vasiken, yet)!  To demonstrate my annoyance, I spent extra time clearing off every corner of the windshield and back window; I know how to get my point across, after all.  Now I was late getting home, so I was late leaving for the bus.  So.. I was ½ block from the corner when I saw the bus go flying past.  I thought, "Wow!  What crazy hashgacha!  Obviously if I had not spent those few seconds to show my (quite unreasonable) annoyment, I would have made the bus.

I had the next few minutes waiting for the bus to let that soak in as I opened my Mishna Brura.  I got to the train station and the train pulled away just as was walking up to the ramp... more proof.  I found a seat on the next outgoing train and sat down to learn.  With all those extra minutes of waiting, I was able to finish all the Mishna Bruras, Biur Halachas, and Dirshu additions on two complete pages; a good amount learned and at a perfect stopping place, I even finished the last word on the page as the train came to a stop.  I thought to think, "Wow!  What crazy hashgacha!  Obviously the delay worked out perfectly!"  Wait... so I was being rewarded for being unreasonably annoyed?

I think it is great that a Jew decided to be more observant and decided not to take a flight on Shabbos.  I think it is spectacular that there was one less Jew on the plane that, rachmana latzlan, crashed.  I think it is amazing if he decides that HaShem is telling him that he should keep Shabbos, so he'll start being more observant.  I have news for him, though... HaShem wanted that before the plane crashed also; in fact, HaShem has been wanting that for the last 3,300 or more years.  As far as all of us learning a lesson, though, I am skeptical.  First, what about the thousands of Jews who, rachmana latzlan, do fly on Shabbos and nothing, Baruch HaShem, out of the ordinary happens to the flight.  Second, Mordechai himself -- right in the middle of the whole Purim episode -- told Esther that he didn't know, but maybe she was queen so she could be the one to save Klal Yisrael.  Maybe?  Modechai had ru'ach hakodesh and was at the middle of the storm of events; maybe, he says?  If Mordechai didn't know with certainty, then who am I to say what any event means?

I'll tell you something that does give me tremendous chizuk and is convincing evidence to me that HaShem cares about me and wants the best for me, though.  I wake up.  That blows me away every day (so far).  So much so that when people at work ask me how I am doing, I respond, "I woke up!  With a start like that, everything else is gravy!"


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