December 19, 2019
Blogger’s Ride – the Fifth Day
Close at Hand, by Tzvi Schnee
This is the last day of my five-day journey across country. I will arrive at my destination in Florida this evening. It has happened, on prior occasions while travelling by train, that I have missed my connection in Chicago, because of inclement weather, whereupon the train did not arrive in Chicago until after my next train left. The result being, that because of my particular route, with a third connecting train in Washington, I had to wait until the next day to leave Chicago on the appropriate train. However, this time I missed my connection in Chicago, because of my own negligence; I had forgotten to set my time pieces ahead one hour, prior to arriving in Chicago. A mistake that should not have been made by an experienced traveller.
In all humility, I’ve had to admit that I am human. I am brought low, before the face of G-d’s sovereignty. Not that I can blame my error on G-d; rather, I am compelled to admit my lowliness, while being in acknowledgment of His greatness. From this standpoint, I accept that there is a reason for everything, despite all appearances. To accept His sovereignty includes, in effect, that even this was meant to happen. As is written, concerning Pharaoh’s heart, that G-d hardened the heart of Pharaoh, for the sake of His own designs. I take responsibility for my own mistake; yet, I acknowledge G-d’s sovereignty over my life. If I do not learn whatever lesson(s) that He would like me to learn, as a result of this experience, then, I would not be making a proper review of my lack of attention on board to visit my mother for Chanukah.
Preparation of the heart long the way? “A man’s heart deviseth his way; but the L-RD directeth his steps” (Proverbs 16:9, JPS 1917 Tanach). My dependency on His Chesed (Kindness) has been brought into sharp relief against my own inconsistencies. Also, my reliance on other’s kindness has become more apparent after this experience; “no man is an island.” Echoes of John Donne’s poetic genius, crossing countries, religion, and centuries of time. Yet, I digress; it is H’Shem (the L-RD; literally, the Name) that guides us all; human interconnectedness, regardless of all appearances, always abides within the overall framework of His orchestration of the events in our lives.
The value of knowing that a safety net, prepared ahead of time by H’Shem, who provided a clear path for me to continue my journey, despite my straying off the tracks, so to speak, is that my emunah (faith) in Him is increased.