Just Right

†† A water carrier carried two buckets hanging on the ends of a pole across his neck. One bucket had a hole in it.Walking back from the stream the good bucket delivered a full amount while the damaged bucket was only half full. The good bucket felt proud of its success while the broken bucket felt ashamed of its deficiency. Finally it could bear itís fault no longer and said to the water carrier, ďI am ashamed that I am only able to deliver half my load because of this hole.I am not giving you full value from your efforts." The water carrier objected, "Watch the path as we travel from the stream.There are flowers only on your side of your path. I knew about the hole and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path.Every day while we walk back from the stream, you've watered them. Every day I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers for my wife. Without you being just the way you are I would not be able to show her my love with flowers."


†† It is easy to be distracted by an extraneous thought during prayer.Most think that being distracted is a sign of ineffective prayer.The opposite may actually be true.It may be such effective prayer that evil inclination triesto distract.2


†† The evil inclinationís role is to attract one's attention away from G-d.2†† It will use any means it can, from distracting prayer to discouraging tzedakah.Or it may encourage one to be insulted by someone and shut them out.Another means is to make a person think poorly of himself.A depressed person cannot fulfill the command to serve G-d with joy.3


†† Self-examination is a useful tool to identify areas that need growth.But it is important to be accurate.G-d has made each person exactly as he should be. G-d forms each person in the womb.4†† He fashions each person to have specific qualities and characteristics. These qualities are neither good nor bad.They are just some the ďpropsĒ G-d gave to play the role assigned to that soul.††


†† There was a TV show where comedians were asked to act out roles given certain qualities.For example one was asked to play a nearsighted drunk trying to milk a cow on a ship at sea.In the same way oneís qualities and characteristics just define the soulís role. These same qualities can be strengths or weaknesses depending on oneís choices.One can engage in self criticism and condemnation or one can seek to use the abilities that G-d provided to serve Him.


†† Tvi Freidman writes5:ďEach person has his own animal inside. The point is not just to quiet that animal, but to take advantage of its power.A goat, for example, is easily domesticated and doesn't care to hurt anyone. But did you ever see a goat plow a field?An ox, on the other hand, may kick and gore -- but that is only a sign of the tremendous labor it is capable of.Ē

1. Tanya, Likutei Amarim, Ch. 28

2. Tanya, Likutei Amarim, Ch. 29

3. Psalm 100:2

4. Jeremiah 1:5; Isaiah 44:2

5. Daily Dose of Wisdom, www.Chabad.org






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