Saturday, November 28, 2009

Getting the message in my condition

With the miracle of Thursday night, I was expecting full recovery by weekend. So I went to work on Friday. However, my flu-like condition plagued me all Sabbath, despite the absence of the fever and headache. I was left with coughing and sneezing. I felt extremely cold and put socks on my feet, and warm clothing. I even covered my head. Each time I felt that I was getting better, some symptom or the other reminded me that I was not yet "out of the woods".

I missed church (did not want to carry my germs into a public gathering, especially where there are infants and newborn babies.) To keep up with my spiritual food, I decided to visit just to read from their website anything that would impact my Torah understanding.

In one article, I read about a Chassidic practice, "set forth by Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov, that "From everything that a person sees or hears, he should derive a lesson in his service of G-d"" (Bolton "Tightrope"). In another article "The Chase" with a consistent belief similar to the aforementioned statement also reminded me that I need to look into my everyday life situation and reflect on them for spiritual lessons. I have not done that all day. Both articles however reinforced that I needed to extract spiritual meaning from my temporal life, so that I can reconnect[or connect] with God. (On this viewpoint, I will need to write an blog entry by itself).

I also viewed Taub's vlog, where a stick man in the video walked up to a ladder with a sign that read "Free Awesome stuff at the top of this ladder". The stick man did not want to climb the ladder, but stepped back, ran up and tried to jump to get to the top of the ladder.

These articles and the video clip that I watched, however, did not become alive with meaning for me until later in the night whilst my wife and daughter were asleep and I was up alone.

It is in this quiet time of solitude that God revealed to me that this illness was a way of getting my attention. He wanted me to reflect on my illness and get the spiritual lessons that he placed in it for me. The illness was indeed my opportunity to pause and do spiritual accounting. God did not just want to heal me immediately, so that I could go back to my extremely busy routine, where i kind of sidelined personal time with God in order to achieve "more urgent and pressing" career goals and objectives.

He wanted me to stop me and get my attention, so that he could get me to refocus. Thus, the first step to doing this was for God to reveal to me the need to focus on the spiritual issues in my condition, and extract from it. It is God's desire that we all look for spiritual meaning from the mundane and temporal. After we do this, we open ourselves to realms of revelation about God that we were previously closed to.

So when I began to look for the lessons in my condition, God was able to reveal to me that I just wanted instant healing to get MY work done and meet temporal deadlines. However, God wanted me to stop and refocus my priorities for him and HIS work. God wants me to take each day at a time, build character day by day and to go through my life by drawing on my relationship with him.

Heavenly Father,
I hope I got the lesson or message right.
And I share this now that someone else will get the message.


Bolton, Tuvia. "The Tightrope." Stories. Shabbat, Kislev 11, 5770. November 28, 2009.

Taub, Dovid. "The Ladder." Stick Figure Vignettes Shabbat, Kislev 11, 5770. November 28, 2009.

"The Chase." Stories. Shabbat, Kislev 11, 5770. November 28, 2009.

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