Vayera: Keep Trying
How long it takes us to reach our goal is not in our control. The only thing that is in our control is to never give up!
We learn some important qualities from Avraham at the beginning of the Torah portion which can help us greatly in our lives – determination and patience. “Hashem appeared to him in the plains of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance of the tent in the heat of the day” (Chapter 18, Verse 1). On the third day after his circumcision, when the wound is most painful, G-d came to visit Avraham. To spare Avraham the physical stress of hosting guests at this difficult time, He created a strong heat wave which prevented people from travelling that day. Still, Avraham sat by the entrance of his tent longing for guests.
Based on this verse, Rabbi Natan of teaches that the language of “sitting” means being delayed for a long time. Avraham merited Hashem’s revelation because he sat and waited for a long time by the tent’s opening, which is the entrance to holiness. His whole life, since he was a small child, he was searching for the truth, and closeness to G-d. He was determined to enter despite the heat, despite being prevented and attacked by the Evil Inclination, and despite facing strong obstacles. Avraham was willing to wait for as long as it took and not give up. He knew that it’s impossible to come close to G-d in an instant, and that anything which is truly good in life takes time to achieve.
Rabbi Natan adds that if a person settles his mind and thinks about his true purpose in this world, then he won’t ever give up trying to obtain a true connection with G-d. He will be willing to sit and wait by the entrance for a long time. Even if it seems like he’s being pushed away and not being allowed to enter, nevertheless he doesn’t relent (Likutei Halachot, Laws of Marriage, 4th teaching, 19th paragraph).
Sometimes it seems like we’re never going to get there. The Evil Inclination tries to convince us that we’re never going to reach the truth, faith, love and true happiness which we so badly want. To give a personal example: I want to be a good spouse and a good parent to my daughters, but many times I see that I fall short in being the caring, present parent I want to be, or I react with a negative emotion and lose my composure. How many times can I try to improve being more thoughtful and caring to my family, only to find myself falling short in different situations again and again? This is a difficult voice which I hear sometimes, but I know the only real choice is to learn from my mistakes and try again.
We don’t understand the ways of Hashem, but for sure everything he does is for our good and he is only trying to help us grow and come closer to him. The failures and tests which we go through are only there to help us build inside ourselves more will, resolve and patience.
How long it takes to reach our goal is not in our control. The only thing which is in our control is to choose to keep trying to do what we can, to try to make good choices, to pray to Hashem for help and guidance, and not to give in to the voices which tell us to turn around and give up.
! You should be successful!
Republished with permission from breslov.blog.