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Is G-d picking on me?

Is G‑d Picking on Me?
Menachem Av 21, 5772 · August 9, 2012

 

Dear Rabbi,

Does G‑d pick on some people? I think He is picking on me, because I have suffered one loss after another for much of my life. It seems that as soon as I have survived one tragedy, another one comes crashing down on me. I always bounce back, but I am starting to take it personally . . .

Answer:

There was once a tow truck driver who lived near a muddy old country road. Every day he would jump into his truck and drive a mile or so to a particularly sludgy bend in the road, and every day his truck would get stuck in the mud. But it was a trusty old truck, and its chunky tires and growling engine would always be able to beat the mud and climb up onto solid ground.

Most days, as he drove along, he would encounter other motorists who had unknowingly ventured onto the muddy road and gotten stuck in the bog. Some of them had been trapped there for hours, haplessly revving their engines and watching their wheels spin aimlessly in the muck. The truck driver would appear like a savior and offer them a tow, drag them out and set them back on the road.

The truck driver’s son once asked him, “Why do you always drive down this muddy road? You always get stuck in it. Why don’t you take your truck somewhere smoother, where the road is clear and dry?”

“That’s the whole point,” said the trucker to his son. “My tow truck has the power to get through that mud. The only reason I pass by there every day is to find others who are stuck and can’t get out themselves. That’s what a tow truck is for.”

Some souls are like tow trucks. They somehow have the strength to burst through the thickest and muddiest roads of life. No matter what life throws at these people, they muster the inner fortitude to get through. And so they keep getting thrown into the abyss, over and over again.

What these souls probably don’t even realize is that they are helping others. When you face a tough time and beat it, you bring light into that dark place, which can shine a path for others who are stuck in their own darkness. It could even be that the only reason you had to pass through that dark roadway is to help drag other souls out of their darkness.

Sometimes we help others directly, by sharing our experiences and teaching a new way to those who can’t see a way out. Or it may happen indirectly. The mere fact that you went through it and survived blazes a pathway, opens a door, and other suffering souls whom you may never meet suddenly find a way out of their quagmire and are set free.

So perhaps you are a tow truck soul. Perhaps sometimes you are being towed. We all experience both. But if we would realize that every time we conquer our own darkness we may be helping someone who can’t help themselves, we would be inspired to keep on trucking.