A little food for thought from Rabbi Moshe Wolf----
A Day At The Park
Have you ever tried to figured out why people will pay fifty dollars to get into an amusement park so that they can ride rides that scare them silly and raise their stress level to the max? Yet, the amusement parks would go out of business if it didn't have rides that sent your stress level off the chart. We pay, and pay big, to be beat to death in a little cart dropping off a hill and flipping us upside down two or three times stopping just in time for most people to catch their stomach.
On the other hand, let some outside stress come into life, something we didn't pay for, and suddenly the world is coming to an end. Since everyone says we can't have stress, or at least not the kind we don't pay for, then we must have a fix. "Doctor, help me with my stress, my burden, order for me a vacation, some place to escape.. please." "Can't do that? Well -- maybe a pill? A medicine???"
Why is it that we can be so brave and tough on the roller coaster and be so whimsy and whinny when the boss wants the job done by the end of the day? Actually, I've done a little research on this matter. I think I have come up with four simple reasons why "unpaid for" stress get us down so quickly.
First, life's stress events get us down so easily because we are not expecting them. On the roller coaster you knew when you got to the top of the hill that stress was shortly coming, and you are going to drop. No one can predict exactly when a stressful event in life will come but we do know they will. A life that is "prayed up" and in touch with G-d is prepared when those stress related moments come. G-d's safety straps of love help you to hold on and hold you in his care. The closer you are to Him the easier it is to hold on.
Next, we doubt or forget the security and safety of the Lord. When your youngster talks you into riding one of those silly rides, you do so only because you believe that they are somewhat safe. You would never get anyone, with any sense, to ride one of those things it they thought they might really die. When life sends us through the loop, it is assuring to know G-d is with you all the way. We get stressed out when we forget that we can depend on the security and protection of the Lord.
Another reason that the amusement ride is fun and normal everyday stress events drain us is because we lose sight of the end. No matter how high the hill, no matter how fast the ride, no matter how many loops, the roller coaster ride has the glorious end when you can stop and get out. The knowledge that there is an end has helped us through many a tough ride in life. Focus on the simple truth, that every event has an end.
Lastly, but perhaps the single greatest reason we get stressed in everyday life but survive and enjoy the stress of riding "The Wild Thing," is our mind set. We go to an amusement park with the full intention of riding the rides for the thrill of it. We make it fun, enjoying the park, the company we are with, and all the enjoyment that comes with 'a day at the park'. When we view life with the mind set that this is going to be fun, suddenly stressful events aren't any more that a roller coaster ride.
Hang on tight and enjoy the ride! , remembering the day does end, get your money's worth ,and make the most of "Your Day At The Park".
May G-d bless you, keep you safe, and always let you find something daily to make you smile.Amen!
Compliments of your Chaplain
Rabbi Moshe Wolf 773-463-4780 or Rabbi@shomrimillinois.org