The GPS of Life
Question from a GYE member:
I have a philosophical question. I've been struggling with shmiras ainayim and shmiras habris for many years now, and I have so many different struggles in my life.
I don't really complain though, because I believe that a lot of it is because of my sins in this matter. Of course, it's impossible to know Hashem's plans, but I'm really really curious what you think about Reward and Punishment.
Basically, if I continue in this sin, will Hashem continue to punish me with these difficulties?
Or if I improve, will Hashem bless me with good things (finding a wife, an improvement on my health, less stress) and take away the difficulties?
Reply from GYE:
The Torah is pretty clear about the way things work in this world. We all need to get to a certain destination. If we follow the GPS's directions carefully, we'll get there in the straight and easy way. But if we keep deciding to make detours by doing what we think is in our best interest, the GPS will reroute us again and again through difficult terrain. This takes much longer and is much more uncomfortable.
The Torah is G-d's GPS for man. If we accept the uncomfortable feelings of turning away from bad things and let go of the need to "control" and take care of ourselves, and instead we follow G-d's directions and trust that He is taking care of us, then we fix ourselves much quicker in the sweet ways of the Torah. Otherwise, we will get to the destination in a much more difficult way, through all sorts of trials and tribulations.
Now obviously we don't always see this clearly. If we did, we wouldn't have free choice. But this is how it works in the big picture, both on a personal level and for all the Jewish people as a whole.
It's not a question of is Hashem nice or mean, it's just that He created the world in this way. We all have to get there at the end. Hashem begs us to "Choose Life". But at the end of the day, we need to make the right choices.
For a short audio boost message on this topic, click here.