Good Morning Everybody,
If you’re a big outdoors person, unlike myself, you might know what a PLB is. PLB stands for “Personal Locator Beacon.” It’s a small electronic device that transmits a signal indicating exactly where you are. So, say someone’s stranded in the mountains, or lost at sea, they would push a button on the PLB, and it sends a signal to alert a search-and-rescue-team to come and save them. Pretty awesome.
At first I thought this PLB device was a great metaphor for prayer– when things are getting tough we send out a distress signal to Hashem, who so to speak “locates” us, and then sends help. But then I realized I had it backwards. WE’RE not the ones using the beacon, Hashem is!
He’s attempting to get US to locate HIM.
See, we think what happens is that something distressful happens in our life so we pray to Hashem to “send help.” But our tradition teaches us otherwise. Hashem yearns for us to have a relationship with Him. So sometimes He has to get our attention. So He sends us a distressful situation to encourage us to pray to Him. And what’s really cool is that it’s not just a random stressful situation–it’s customized just for us to help us learn a certain lesson or refine a character trait.
So what’s the practical difference?… Either way you look at it, something distressful happens and we pray to Hashem. Well, I think one of the many possible differences is that when we’re aware that Hashem has brought the difficulty into our life, and we know and feel that He does so out of love and for our benefit, we’ll articulate our prayer differently. We of course will still pray for the pain to go away and for the problem to be resolved, but we might also ask Hashem what He wants us to learn from the predicament…This will get us to contemplate ways we can improve. And then the distressful situation isn’t just something we hope to speedily get thru, it actually becomes the means by which we improve ourselves and also strengthen our relationship with Hashem.
May we all experience many happy moments throughout our day, and when distressful ones come along, let’s remember that Hashem is using His Personal Locator Beacon on us. He cares and loves us so much that He’s sending us a signal– a little message to turn to Him and reconnect.
Have a fantastic day and a beautiful Shabbos,
Keep on Building!