gratitude and serendipity, by Tzvi Schnee
“Surely the L-RD’s mercies are not consumed, surely His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness.”
- Lamentations 3:22-23, JPS 1917 Tanach
It would be surprising to most people to learn that faithfulness is a quality that can be attributed to G-d. Normally, we understand faithfulness as having to do with our own walk down the road of belief and practice. We think in terms of our faithfulness towards G-d. For example, whether or not we are in right relationship to Him, through observance of the mitzvot (commandments). Yet, also, consider that every morning, His faithfulness to us should be acknowledged, because He has preserved us throughout the night, and given us the opportunity to serve Him for another day.
It would be great, if I woke up each and every morning with the awareness of what G-d would like me to accomplish throughout the day, as if an angel could appear with a personal directive for my soul’s improvement, as well as the benefit of others. However, as far as I know, I have never received an actual checklist from Shomayim (Heaven) in the morning in the form of a letter, email, or phone message. Yet, H’Shem will provide the circumstances for us to do good, even in what may appear to be a serendipitous manner. Even so, nothing is by chance; moreover, we should be grateful for these opportunities.
If we have the intent to do good, G-d will provide us with the means to do so; developing a habit of doing good will bring more opportunities. This understanding is encapsulated in the saying, “a mitzvah (good deed) brings another mitzvah” (Pirkei Avos 4:2). Therefore, aside from whatever my known responsibilities of the day are, according to my own personal checklist, I need to be open to the moment. Perhaps, the next mitzvah that you and I are given to enact, whether through thought, speech or action – a good thought, a kind word, or a helping hand – will bring a corresponding amount of light into the world that will continue to shine until the perfect day (Proverbs 4:18).