David and Rachel Ruben were blessed with a large family. They worked hard trying to build a Torah-true home, one in which the children matched or even surpassed the parents in their service to Hashem.
The couple’s meeting with their Rabbi was very emotional.
“I don’t know why this is happening to us,” Rachel sobbed as she reached for a tissue. “We put extra effort into Shelomoh, but somehow we never got through to him.”
“I can’t believe it’s come to this,” David added. “I’ve tried so many different ways to connect with him and lead him to the right path. I feel like such a failure.”
The Rabbi was silent, but his countenance showed compassion and understanding. The Rubens were among the best of his congregants. They had so much success with their other children that it was difficult for the Rabbi to find the right words with which to console them now.
Finally he said, “You know that Yaakov and Esav grew up in the same home with the same parents. The efforts put into the children had to be the best possible, as we are talking about our Patriarch and Matriarch. Yet one child turned out to be the primary Patriarch and the other was rejected for his wickedness. Would you say in Heaven they recorded Esav’s parents as failures because of his wicked ways?”
“Of course not!” both parents responded almost in unison.
In this material world a person is graded according to the results of his actions. In Heaven an individual is marked for effort expended; Yitzchak and Rivkah were rewarded in Shamayim for their efforts. Success is measured by trying one’s best to do what is right; the results don’t affect the reward. “According to the effort is the reward”(Avot 5:23).
Do your best always.
One More Second: Another Thought for the Day
Don’t jump to conclusions when you’re in a bad mood. You may create problems where none exist in reality. Give yourself a little time to get over the mood, and you’ll discover that what you thought were the problems causing your mood really had nothing at all to do with it. (Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski, M.D., It’s Not as Tough as You Think, p. 115)