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GPS - G-d Prefers Straight

the.guard Tuesday, 30 August 2016

One of the big demoralizers and deterrents to spiritual progress, is the feeling that I'm anyway in the mud and G-d surely isn't interested in me now. Even if we are making good progress in general but now we had a slip or fall, we get this feeling that "I'm anyway far from G-d, He's for sure upset at me and doesn't want to even look at me now". These feelings are not only completely off base, they are dangerous to our continued progress and tend to be one of the biggest causes keeping us in the mud.

But how can we ignore these feelings? It is human nature to feel this way! It is so hard for us to truly believe that G-d ALWAYS has our very best interest in mind, even after we're sure that we've just angered Him by going against His will.

I thought of a parable that inspired me to see this concept in a whole new light. I'd like to call it the "GPS parable". G-d Prefers Straight.

Every soul was sent down to earth with a mission to accomplish; to get somehow through life from point A to point B. To help the soul on its mission, GPS - G-d prefers straight, well, at least as straight as possible. G-d knows exactly what it will take for each soul to get from A to B, so He plans the shortest/straightest route, involving the precise challenges that each soul needs to endure during life to get there. Now, if the person follows G-d's will to the best of their ability, the GPS will bring them to their goal in the shortest and easiest way. Yes, their life might be full of challenges, but these are the precise hills, turns, junctions and pathways that this soul needed to traverse to get to its particular destination.

What happens if, in middle of a journey, we don't follow the GPS and start making wrong choices? What if the GPS says to go straight (over a steep hill) and we choose to go left instead because it looks much easier? Does that mean the GPS gets upset at us and doesn't want to help us anymore? Of course not! It simply "recalculates the route" to get us once again to our destination in the shortest way possible. Yes, it will take longer now because of the bad choice we made, but the GPS is programmed to ONLY have the passenger's best interest in mind. No matter HOW FAR the driver may have strayed from the original path, the GPS is programmed to ALWAYS find the shortest route to the final destination.

It is the same with G-d. He gave us each a path in life with the exact turns, traffic jams and hills, all calculated into the trip to bring our soul to its destination in the easiest and shortest way. When we follow His will, we are following the GPS - G-d Prefers Straight. But when we have a slip or fall and make a bad choice or a wrong turn, it is silly for us to say "G-d doesn't like me now, He doesn't want to help me". G-d always and UNEQUIVOCALLY has only our best interest in mind. Just as a GPS by definition is made that way, so too, G-d, by definition, needs nothing for Himself and therefore ALWAYS has our best interest in mind (otherwise He wouldn't be G-d!). So it is completely off-base to even imagine that G-d doesn't care or doesn't want to help us. G-d simply recalculates the route for us, everytime we make a mistake. Yes, our mistakes may take us off route and through some difficult detours, but G-d will ALWAYS get us to our destination in the shortest way possible - based on where we are right NOW. He will keep rearranging things in our lives to get us to where we need to get to, from wherever we may be at this moment in time.

All the pain and suffering we experience in our lifetimes are part of our soul's trip. And much of it is unfortunately caused by our own bad choices, by not following the GPS's original route. But it is never too late! Teshuva involves only the NOW; the past and future are not in our hands at all to change. The sooner we decide to stick to the GPS's current suggested route and not deviate from it - even if it tells us to take a difficult climb over a mountain range, the smoother and easier the overall trip will be to our eventual destination.