by Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths
Do you have emunah (faith) when you make a wrong turn?
I completed the sefer before Succot. For my learning schedule to resume, I needed the next volume for parshat Berashis, right after the end of the holidays. I checked the local stores, they didn't have it. I knew it was available in Geulah in Jerusalem.
Work intervened, I couldn't head there on Wednesday or Thursday. Friday morning, erev Shabbos, getting the sefer was the top item on my schedule. Right as I was ready to head out, a call from my son's school - bee sting and he's having some kind of reaction.
I ran to school to get him (administered a benedryl on the spot) and then to the doctor. Lots of swelling (on his face where the sting was!) but no major allergic reaction, thank G-d. Finally I'm ready to go, my younger daughter joins me. But, it's 12:15, stores close in Geulah at 1:00 and it's a 35 minute trip under perfect conditions. I despair, it's not worth the time to try and miss. My wife pushes me out the door - go!
We (my daughter and I) hop in the car, I'm driving fast. Arg, stuck behind a slow driver till the road changes to two lanes, grr, caught by the red light. Ohh, slow truck up the hill, watching the clock it seems unlikely...
We come to Jerusalem and I have to decide how to go, left and around or straight in - left usually avoids traffic but that puts me on the far side of Meah Shearim, too long to park and run through. Straight in risks traffic, but I think I know how to go and wind up right where I need to, though it's a route I rarely follow.
Straight in it is, traffic is surprisingly smooth. Past the bus station, past the Alef (now Yesh), down the hill look for the right into Geulah. Buses everywhere, I squeeze between and make the turn. Watching the clock, 10 minutes to closing I might just make it.
Ahhhhhh, it's the wrong road. It circles around and puts me back out on the main street. 5 minutes left, maybe I'll get there and he'll be closing a minute late. PLEASE HASHEM, IT'S ALL FOR LEARNING TORAH! I start to despair. I make another turn, it's wrong again!!! I almost want to cry as I circle around finding myself coming into the wrong side of Meah Shearim.
Well at least R. Nati showed me a way through here, I follow through the narrow streets. It comes out in the middle of Meah Shearim, I still can't get to Geulah from here. Well, it's way past time but I might as well check.
Frustrated, I can't figure my way there by car. So I park, grab my little girl's hand, we turn onto the main Meah Shearim street and start to run towards Geulah (she thinks this is great fun).
And right in front of me is a store with the sefer I'm looking for in the window. The store is open, the owner is just starting to move his merchandise table from outside back in. I step in and ask for what I need, he says of course and points to the back corner. They have the full set!
Catching my breath, I take the volume I need and the next (just in case). I can't believe it, surely the store I was headed to was closed by now (and I don't know whether they would have had the exact volume I needed).
Wrong turn, wrong turn, wrong turn, too late. But right store, right circumstances, right time. Led to not where I was headed but where I needed to be.
We don't always see that, it's easy to despair when OUR plans go awry. But occasionally we get a glimpse that it's all working out according to plan.
BS"D - בסיעתא דשמיא