by Reb Gutman Locks @ Mystical Paths
A chassid wrote, “I know that I am supposed to balance love and fear [awe] of G-d, but I can’t handle the strictness of the fear part. I am really bothered by strictness.”
Reb Gutman, “Then go to spiritual joy, and bypass the entire subject.”
The chassid responded; “Huh?”
Reb Gutman: First, understand that strictness contains love, and that love has to have strictness. Unbridled love would be a disaster.
As for strictness, rain is a good example of strictness. But how can rain be strictness? Rain is always a blessing. Without rain, we could not survive. Rain seems to be only love and kindness.
All beneficial love contains strictness. The strictness of rain is that its water falls in individual drops. If this strictness would be removed, the rain would fall in a solid block, like a huge tsunami flood falling from the sky! This would destroy whatever it reached. So, we see that this strictness is really measured love.
But if this struggle with love and fear is too great for you, then take the easy way out. Go to spiritual joy. The spiritual goal that we seek can only come in spiritual joy.
Imagine that you are a peasant farmer. You are not a complete beggar, thank G-d, but you are no way near being a landed gentleman, either. One day, you are working in the field and you look up, amazed. Coming toward you in the distance, you see a number of golden carriages being drawn by large teams of beautiful horses. As they come closer, you realize that it is the King’s carriage. You are astonished.
The carriage stops, and the livery guards rush to open the door. They place a red carpet on the ground. Then the King Himself steps down, out of the carriage.
You fall to the ground, afraid to even look up at the King. Then the King says, “Arise. Stand, I want you to do something for me.”
You immediately obey the King’s order, and you rise.
The King says, “I want you to become my servant. I want you to help me by gathering in my sheep, and by tending them. Know this: My sheep are very dear to me. I love each of them. But My flock has gone astray. They are lost, left wandering in the wilderness. Here are your new garments and the tools that you will need to do this job. Do not worry, I will reward you handsomely for your time and effort. Your reward will be beyond your imagination. And, if you do a good job, I will even invite you into My palace.”
One of the King’s guards hands you the garments, the tools that you will need to accomplish the job, and a large amount of gold. Then the King climbs back into His carriage, and the carriage disappears into the horizon.
Now be honest. How would you feel? List your ten most obvious feelings. What would be your initial feelings? What would you feel after all this sinks in? List them.
Here are some of mine:
G-d said to us, “When you do a mitzvah the way it is supposed to be done, you will become holy. I will share My holiness with you. A mitzvah is both physical and spiritual. To properly do the mitzvah physically, you have to follow the physical details of the mitzvah. To properly do the mitzvah spiritually, you have to also think about Me, say My Name and think about what I am doing to you when you do the mitzvah. [This is inherent in the blessing, if only we pay attention to the words.]
If you remember all of those feelings that you listed, it will not be long before I will invite you into My palace.”