It all seems to happen in the blink of an eye. Those moments when your life or those of a loved one hang in the balance. It can go either way–you can end up on the road to success or potentially in the morgue.
- You are a candidate on the short list for a very prestigious program at an Ivy League school, and you slowly open up the letter from the school to see if you were accepted–is it a yes or a no?
- You apply for an important job that you’ve wanted your whole life and it’s between you and another very qualified candidate–does the selection panel choose you or the other person?
- You meet the man or woman of your dreams, and you get up the nerve to finally pop the big question–do they accept your proposal and you live happily ever after or not?
- A deer jumps in front of your car–did you hit it and total your car and end up seriously injured in the ER or where you saved by a fraction of a second?
- You go to the doctor for a routine test, and they find a growth and send you for a biopsy and the result come back–is it cancer or is it benign?
Whatever actually happens, we tend to have the same general reaction: If what happened was good then it’s because we worked hard and deserved it. If it was bad then it’s because the cards were somehow unfairly stacked against us from the beginning. Perhaps for many, it is a rare occasion when we acknowledge G-d in the equation as our life weighs in the balance.
Like a scale of justice, G-d can put his little pinky on this side or on that side of what will be the Heavenly decree. Those split seconds in our life can challenge us, change us, test us, and teach us. You can’t simply be good enough or work hard enough to change the outcome of what G-d decides will happen in those split seconds. When we pray for G-d’s blessings and mercy, give charity, do good deeds, and live a proper life, we can try to positively influence which way things may go for us. Similarly, when we say and acknowledge “Gam Zu L’Tova (all is for the best)–regardless of what happens– we recognize that G-d is the creator and sustainer, is intimately involved in our lives, and knows what is best for us in the bigger scheme of things.
Of course, you should always do you best–have goals, study hard, work smart–but you always need to be prepared for those split seconds in life that determine which direction your life is now going to take. Lookout for those split seconds–they are pivotal–and know when you’ve reached the crossroads and be prepared for where you’d like to go from there.