Can you put life in context?
by Rabbi Shlomo Chein
Please give me a satisfactory reason and meaning for life. When I say “meaning,” I don’t mean finding a meaningful project to occupy my time with—I mean finding a meaning and purpose in life itself. Why did it begin, where is it supposed to be heading, what is it, etc.?
Well, I know it began because of parents’ love for one another. Where is it supposed to be heading? I’m not sure. I hope towards a happy and fulfilled future. Beyond that, I don’t know.
It is true your life began because of your parents.
But it is not the whole truth.
After all many parents try many times to have children and they can’t. Many eggs are never fertilized, many embryos never become fetuses, and many fetuses never develop into babies.
There is a master plan we are involved in. we don’t realize that all of the past, present, and future is watching our every move to see if we go along with the script to perfect the picture, or...
There must be a reason then why this particular egg became an embryo that developed into a fetus that turned into a baby: You.
It is also not the whole truth because where did your parents come from?
A friend of mine who lived in Florida once came to visit me when I lived in New York. When I asked him how he got here he said he took a taxi. I said, “you took a taxi all the way from Florida?!” He said, “No, I took a taxi from the airport!”
It was indeed true that he got “here” with a taxi. But that wasn’t nearly the whole truth; it was merely the last stage of a much larger journey.
“Our parents” answers how we got here—the latest stage of the journey. But it doesn’t answer where it originated from, or more importantly why are we – as humans – here in the first place.
And the answer to that can be found in a very wise statement in the Talmud: “There are three partners in the creation of a child—the father, the mother, and G-d.”
G-d created the world and He has a purpose for it. He has a huge complex script written out for every place in space and every moment in time. He puts us in the picture when it is time for our scene.
It is almost like a huge “Truman Show.”
We go about living without ever realizing that there is a master plan we are involved in. we don’t realize that all of the past, present, and future is watching our every move to see if we go along with the script to perfect the picture, or...
Naturally, we may feel like a random mass of particles floating around in a fast moving world. In the worst case scenario we get knocked down by some larger, faster, stronger mass of particles. In the best case scenario we manage to stay afloat and perhaps even enjoy the voyage. Either way, we came from, and are going, nowhere.
That is until we discover the “Script.” Suddenly we realize we are not just here; we were put here. We aren’t a mass of particles; we are THE embodiment of human flesh and G-dly spirit needed for an exclusive purpose.
That “Script” is the Torah.... it reveals our original purpose. It tells us who we are, where we are, what we are supposed to be doing, and who put this whole thing togetherThat “Script” is the Torah. It not only offers us meaning, but it reveals our original purpose. It tells us who we are, where we are, what we are supposed to be doing, and who put this whole thing together.
At any given moment in life we can look to the script and remember we came from the backstage of the Director, we are now “on location” and we are meant to play a role no other “actor” alive can play. When we finish we will have added another touch towards completing the larger picture and oh what a masterpiece that will be.
If we finish our role before the larger project is ready to go into production we simply go backstage again, either to come back out for another job, or to wait for the completion of the project, at which point we will be privileged to experience and live the euphoria of the completed masterpiece.
“On Location” is where we are when we are alive. “Backstage” is where we were before, and were we go after, life.
Once we discover the “Script” we find meaning in life and lose fear of death.
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