by Reb Gutman Locks
A young man who has been learning in a non-Chassidic yeshiva stopped me on the way to the Kotel yesterday afternoon. He was really frustrated. He asked, "Can you give me some Chassidic insight about something? Why is G-d doing this to me? I am so frustrated! I am really upset. I have to move to another apartment, and I can't find a place to stay. I've been looking for two months and things are getting desperate!"
He leaned on a wall while he spoke. His face was twisted showing his discomfort.
"Obviously, G-d is telling you to change something, but first; have you taken all of the normal steps to find an apartment?"
"Of course I have. I have asked people, and I checked out the neighborhood online, but I can't find anything," he answered.
"Have you put up a dozen notices on the local bulletin boards with your telephone number, and replaced them every few days? And have you checked the "Rental" sections of the local newspapers?" He hadn't.
He again complained that he was so frustrated and was even in pain over this.
I said, "First, you have to take the proper steps in order to know what to do. If you do not look in the normal places for what you need, but just yell at G-d, you are not going to understand the message. Everything comes for a good reason, but we have to take the proper action when these things happen so our actions can become vehicles that G-d will then fill for us."
I told him if he took all of the obvious steps to find a place to stay… tried real hard, and still couldn't find one, then maybe he should see if he should be living somewhere else, doing something else, like maybe, it was time to learn a profession, or a trade so he could get married.
Everything comes to teach us something, but very often we just see these things as obstacles that are preventing us from doing what we want.
When you pay attention you see these kinds of things happen quite often. A couple of days after explaining to that student how everything comes for a good reason, someone ordered one of my books via email. I had to go to the Post Office to ship it.
The Rova (Quarter) Post Office closed down some time ago, leaving either the Post Office in town (a bit of a walk) or the closer one at Jaffe Gate. The one at Jaffe Gate is usually tightly filled with arabs, and you almost always have to wait in that crowded room for well over 30 minutes. Not my favorite thing to do. But, if you get there some 10 minutes before they open, there is a good chance that you will be in an almost empty room, and can be in and out within 10 minutes from the time they open.
I got there at 7:15, some 15 minutes before it opened, and I waited…and I waited…and I waited. I waited some ten minutes past the time it was supposed to open. Frustrated at having wasted so much time, I returned to the Rova. On the way back I thought that it must have been for a good reason, although I had no idea what.
I returned to my desk just as an email popped up. It was from the man who had ordered the book that I tried to ship. He wrote that he had made a big mistake in the shipping address, and would I please send it to the corrected address instead.
Everything comes for a reason, and once we realize this, our days, and their obstacles are less frustrating.