17 Cheshvan 5782 / Saturday, October 23, 2021 | Torah Reading: Vayeira
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The whole messy problem started with a business venture that I entered without asking Hashem's help, and terminated without asking Hashem's help…


I slid my finger down the dimmed screen. The arrowed wheel spun, refreshing the feed and populating my screen with suggestions on food, clothing, kindergarten activities and landscaping concepts. I scrolled and scrolled and scrolled. Pausing occasionally at an image that would briefly catch my attention then scrolling again.


I wasn’t looking for anything in particular. Or rather I was looking for something quite specific – to distract myself from thinking.


Refresh. Again. I’d hit the bottom of the suggestion screen.


It was late, much later than my normal bed time. I’d been disturbed from falling fully asleep when my husband gently let me know he was going to do one more job that night so that he could spend the next two days off work.


I broke down into sobs on his shoulder then pulled myself together enough to get him some water for the trip before starting to cry again. He gave me a hug and told me this whole situation would be over soon – then gave me jokingly stern orders to go to sleep.


Yeah. Sleep.


One problem – If I laid down I would think and I really didn’t want to think. I wanted to turn this whole messy situation over to Hashem and forget all about it…. But I knew deep down that wasn’t Hashem’s plan. I had a lesson to learn.


I tried eating – I’m not a late night eater and let me tell you, I’m really bad at it. One giant pickle, some chocolate covered sea salt caramel popcorn, a few dollops of supremely spicy humus with corn chips and I’d waddled myself back to bed.


The whys of the situation started circling in my mind. I knew I should take my problems to the One and only that could solve them. I knew the best solution was to pour my heart out and ask for emuna and release all of my imaginary control over the situation. The only problem was that to do that I had to think about the whole situation (and my part in it) and I really, really didn’t want to. I wanted to not think and so I turned to the distraction of my phone and the ability to refresh whenever I came to the end of the list.


That preference to hide from situations is probably just why Hashem was bringing it up in its current “you can’t ignore this” status. Two months ago, when this situation first began I did a cursory hand off to Hashem. “Oh I don’t like where things are going, Hashem, I’m just going to turn this whole situation over to you and I’m not going to worry about it.”


Yah. Have I ever told you that I avoid confrontation like the plague? I once jumped into traffic and ran up the other side of the street, hiding in the doorway of a building while my baffled co-workers tried to catch up … all because I didn’t want to have a confrontation with someone I saw walking toward me.


So, apparently this confrontation avoidance I also do with myself, and Hashem too.


An hour and a half of avoiding thinking later, my eyes are feeling like they are out on dry stems from staring at the phone screen in the dark, I’m still awake and realize I can’t keep not talking to Hashem about the issue. I also realize, that if I’d spent the last hour and half talking with Hashem about the issue the solution would probably be much closer and I’d be a lot happier.


Here’s the lesson that I learned when I finally took the situation to Hashem – I have a habit of making decisions without involving Hashem. I do “ok” on the back end of a decision – if it turns out well I thank Hashem. If it doesn’t go to well, I tend to say “ah, here ya go Hashem – I’m handing this one off to you! I obviously should not be in control.”


I think earlier in my journey that was ok. Far less than desirable but at least I was starting to include Hashem in my life on a regular basis. But now, I think Hashem is telling me it’s time to put all the learning I’ve had to regular, daily use.


This current situation, a business relationship that has gone bad, began without prayer. I ended the agreement about two months ago, without prayer.  If I’m understanding the messages from Hashem correctly, that is exactly the problem.


The whole situation is a mess right now…. I have no idea how to get out of it. But I’m not worried about that. Hashem can make it go away – poof! And if He doesn’t, there is obviously more to learn and it will all be for the very best. Amen!


What I’m focused on now is a total real refresh – making a new beginning, a fresh start. Changing the way I think and make decisions. And this time, I’m asking Hashem to help me…. To help me remember to ask Him for help every step of the way.



* * *

Jennifer invites you to participate in a regularly held Noahide on-line study group that reviews the garden series books of Rabbi Arush. You can contact her at jenniferjwoodward@gmail.com for dates and times.

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