“I’ve got to work late tonight,” Mr. Storch told his wife. “I’ve got an important presentation in the morning and have not yet completed my preparation.”
“Okay,” Mrs. Storch responded in an understanding tone. “I’ll eat with the kids. Do you want me to leave something prepared for when you get home?”
“I’ll order something,” he replied. “I don’t know how late I’ll be. I want to make a good impression, so I’m devoting extra time to planning.”
Planning, some will say, is crucial to success. The more you plan a course of action, the more likely you’ll be to achieve your objective. In reality, however, we often see a well-prepared individual get thrown off track by an unexpected development. If no alternate plan was devised, the snag can result in failure.
Planning is good as long as one knows that there is a limit to the amount of control a human can have in his or her affairs. The involvement of Heaven in a person’s life often shifts the plan into another realm before the final result is actualized.
When learning about the first six days of Creation, we confront situations where the initial action devised by Hashem was abandoned because things didn’t work out as first planned. The original light was too bright for humans to bear and was hidden for the end of days. Two great luminaries of equal size could not share the crown, so the moon’s size had to be reduced. We cannot say Hashem didn’t know these flaws in Creation in advance, chas v’shalom. We can, however, propose that He made adjustments to His original plan in order to teach us to prepare “Plan B” for everything we do in this imperfect world. It might work as you planned — but it just might not.
One More Second: Another Thought for the Day
What they (someone who confides in you) really wanted when they revealed that problem to you was a good listen — attentive, compassionate and sincere. That kind of response is always welcome. And, these days, quite unexpected. Add a dose of old-fashioned eye contact and a pinch of genuine sympathy and you’ll be amazed at how ameliorative your reply will become. (Rabbi Yaakov Salomon, C.S.W., Something to Think About, p. 177)
Rabbi Raymond Beyda serves in the Sephardic Community in Brooklyn, N.Y. He lectures to audiences all over the world. He has distributed over 500,000 recorded lessons free of charge. He is author of 1 Minute With Yourself: A Minute a Day to Self-Improvement, Sephardic Press, 2008.