by Reb Gutman Locks at Mystical Paths
We are told that in order to be rich we must be satisfied with what we have.[i] We should be thankful for whatever G-d has given us, recognizing that He is giving us even more than we deserve. He is not just fair with us. Each of us receives more than we would if He gave to us only according to our deeds. Two men often take the same action yet their endeavors produce wildly different results. This shows that the outcome of our efforts is really in G-d’s hand.
We should not measure our wealth by looking at anyone else’s portion, but by looking at our efforts and actual needs. Of course, we must work hard to accomplish our objectives, but once we try, the outcome is no longer in our hands. Hashem wants us to make vessels that He will fill for us. Our actions are the vessels, and the results that these actions bring will be according to His blessings.
See that having enough material wealth to provide for life’s basics necessities is both satisfying and good enough to enjoy life to its fullest. Avoid the trap of materialism. Materialism fools you into thinking that the goal of life is to acquire material possessions. Materialism misleads you into believing that more is better. Necessities are essential, and comforts are nice, but beware of the lure of luxuries. They can cost you much more than you realize. Beside the initial outlay that you have to spend to acquire them, they can actually end up making you very unhappy. Luxuries mislead you into thinking that daily comforts are not enough and that you need more luxuries. As you get used to the new luxuries, they themselves become mere comforts. Then you will have to strive even harder to get more luxuries so you can be happy with what you have. It is a self-imposed trap.
However, all this is true only in the physical realm. In our spiritual lives, we must always thirst for more, never stopping to be satisfied with our accomplishments or station. When you are satisfied spiritually, you stop growing. King Dovid, who was the anointed of Hashem, and the beloved of all Israel,[ii] tells us this over and over again. How often does this spiritually unique man cry out, “How long will You hide Your face from me?” “My soul thirsts for You.” “Why do You stand back?” Yet who today experiences more spiritually than he did? It is this thirst that motivates us to strive harder, seeking to experience even more of His most wonderful Presence.
Spiritual satisfaction is the most foolish of all egotism. It shows that you think you have done so well that you need not do more. A spiritually satisfied person feels that he has attained all that is worth attaining. This is sheer nonsense. There is no end to the magnificent glory that Hashem can show us. In fact, the more we are blessed to experience, the smaller we realize we are.
To experience His glory is the very reason we have been created. Seeking spirituality is a lifelong pursuit. We are to strive continually in order to experience more and more of His wonderful glory, as much as we possibly can.
[i] Pirkei Avot4:1
[ii] 1 Samuel 18:16
BS"D - בסיעתא דשמיא