We’ve all fallen.
And it hurts…Sometimes a lot…
Whether it’s falling in mitzvoth, breaking up with our girlfriend, getting laid off from our job…
It feels awful, we don’t understand why…
“Why does it have to be so hard?”
“How will I recover from this slump?”
“How can god ever forgive me?”
“What should I do?”
We start by realizing what God expects from us: to get up.
Who is Righteous?
“A righteous man falls down seven times and gets up.” – King Solomon, Proverbs, 24:16.
Thankfully, we’re not the first ones who suffered from setbacks.
King Solomon, the wisest of the wise, delivers a wonderful and cheerful message to us all: To be considered righteous, you don’t have to be perfect. There’s no such thing, especially not in our generation.
If the goal was to be perfect, we wouldn’t be sent to this world – a world filled with challenges, in the first place.
No, God doesn’t want us to be perfect.
But God does want us to aspire to be perfect, and that’s a big difference.[Tweet “God doesn’t want us to be perfect. God wants us to aspire to be perfect”]
We should aspire to be better than we were yesterday, every day.
We’re expected to continue learning and continue growing. That’s why we’re required to set aside time to learn Torah and make it a daily practice.
Because even though our physical growth stops at some point, our mental growth never stops.
No Growth is Achieved Without Setbacks
We were sent to this world as raw material, not finished products.[Tweet “We were sent to this world as raw material, not finished products.”]
We’re born very small (literally), without any abilities to do anything by ourselves (except crying & waking up our parents). We start crawling… we try to walk, we fall down… we cry.
We get up, try again, fall down again, cry some more, but this time a little less. We keep on trying with little baby steps (literally), until we eventually learn how to walk.
We’ve all been there right?
But here’s the thing: our parents never gave up on us. They didn’t tell us –“ it’s OK little darling, just continue sitting and crawling for the rest of your life.”
No! They told us to keep trying until we learn how to walk… Look h0w that turned out.
We shape & grow ourselves – both physically and mentally.
And every fall helps us grow. Once you start realizing that, you’ll grow faster and better.
Learn from your falls, analyze them, and most importantly – get up and try again.
That’s exactly what God wants us to do. To keep getting up, to keep trying… until.
Trust that Everything Happens for the Best
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” – Steve Jobs
When we fall, it’s hard for us to see how exactly this is for the good. All we’ve got is our own point of view, which is a limited one. We don’t see the bigger picture.
Imagine yourself driving along the highway. All you’re able to see is what’s in front of you (and what’s behind you if you look at the mirrors every now and then)… But you’re unable to see what lies at the end of the highway. You’re missing the bird’s-eye view.
Only when we arrive at the end of the road, we can look back and connect the dots. So our job is to get up, keep going and pray with all our heart. As King David said:
“The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” – (Psalms 145:18)[Tweet ““The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” – (Psalms 145:18)”]
Falling down is never the problem. We’re all humans, we all fall. The problem starts when we fall down and don’t get back up again.
Every day we wake up in the morning is an opportunity. An opportunity to work on ourselves, keep going, keep falling – and most importantly: keep getting up.
As Rabbi Yisrael Salanter famously said:
“As long as the candle is still burning, it is still possible to accomplish and to mend.”
Your candle is still burning.
Get up, accomplish, mend.