The Battle of the Generation
Overcoming difficulty is so basic to true accomplishment in life that it is the reason Hashem places man into a life so full of challenges (Mesillas Yesharim, Chapter 1). Hashem wants to provide man with the opportunity to win his battles and truly accomplish. Challenges are only there to make us great! Succeeding despite the difficulty is the point of life! The harder it is, the greater it makes us.
If Hashem hadn’t created us with the urge to do wrong, and all we wanted to do was to learn Torah and do mitzvos, acting properly or even reaching lofty levels would be no big deal. Our successes are impressive only because the yetzer hara challenges us from every direction, trying to confuse and derail us. When we hang in there and try to succeed despite how much we want to give in, we are performing monumental acts of greatness.
This is how Palti viewed his own formidable challenge. He realized that his was one of the most difficult challenges in history, and he realized how great his act of self-control would be. This motivation led him to achieve his profound success.
When we feel overwhelmed, we must realize that this gives us an opportunity to attain unprecedented merit. The more challenges we face — whether they were given to us entirely by Hashem or whether we brought them upon ourselves — the greater our opportunity for achievement. The lower a person’s spiritual level, the greater he can become. The deeper he has sunk, the higher he can reach. Granted, it is not so easy to change our lives and to overcome strong desires, but if we do, we become men of phenomenal accomplishments. We will reach astounding heights and score victories that others, even many great tzaddikim, did not attain because they never faced such challenges. Our challenges, while difficult and humbling, are also opportunities for us to reach unprecedented greatness!
We hear over and over how terrible our generation is and how much decadence lurks around us. Everyone seems to either look down on us or feel bad for us for having been born now. But if we are here at this time, that means that Hashem put us here, and it wasn’t by accident! Why did He give us these challenges? Why were we born in this generation?
By now, the answer should be obvious: Hashem put us here to give us the opportunity to accomplish something that was never done before. By succeeding despite the challenges that bombard us daily, we reach monumental greatness. Of course, we will have to work harder to succeed than any prior generation, but it is worthwhile because we will be great forever. It is not supposed to be easy. Life is meant to be challenging! That enables us to attain accomplishments that are truly impressive. Accomplishments that aren’t achieved in the face of difficulty, even if they look good on paper and are lauded by society, pale in comparison with these real accomplishments.