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Published Wednesday, June 24, 2015, 3:31 pm

Getting the Kinks Out

By Maury Adkins

One of the most challenging aspects of keeping a beautiful lawn and garden is watering. I don’t know about you but I cannot stand it when the hose gets a kink in it. My first inclination, though I am getting better, is to yank, snatch, and flail the hose around somehow hoping magic will occur and the hose will unkink via this process. Rarely does it happen that way.

I have found it is best to stop watering and walk back to where the hose is kinked and take the time to fix the problem the correct way. The truth is doing it the right way saves time, aggravation, and wear on the hose. This is not particularly surprising and also applies to the “kinks” we get in our lives. Doing things the right way, the Torah way, is the best way to get the kinks in our lives, the ones that are blocking the light, out.

Many times we are faced with difficulties, our lives are turned upside down, and nothing seems to be going as we desire. It is in those seasons life seems downright overwhelming creating within us a source of intolerable vexation because of the immensity of the challenge we are facing. It is then we should stop and give some thought to the situation.

First and foremost, no matter how difficult it is to accept, we need to acknowledge G-d is on our side and whatever He allows in our lives is for our good and our growth. There is a purpose to all we go through.

Having accepted that truth we are then able to view the practical difficulties in our challenge in a redemptive way. Often times people await a miracle, when the miracle, as it were, is within them. The truth is we are empowered by G-d to search out the answers, implement the needed changes, and make a difference not only in our own lives but also the lives of others and the world in which we live.

It is easy to fall into despair, to throw down the hose and walk away. Let’s consider for a moment the results of such a selfish decision. In practical terms of the hose, it may unkink itself and flood the yard not to mention adding substantially to the water bill. It may remain kinked and eventually swell and burst resulting in the same flooding and costs. There are other collateral consequences of throwing down the hose. Flowers and plants wilt and die. There are many things that can go wrong when we give in and give up. The same is true in our lives. Giving up is really not an option. G-d didn’t create us to be quitters. No matter how kinked our lives are, no matter what a mess we’ve made, we are still able to return to Hashem and return to living and being all we are created to be.

Hashem takes pride in every Jew. We must know that Hashem takes pride in even the lowest Jew, even one who has drifted away or one who is discouraged or downcast. No matter how far we’ve fallen, or what damage we’ve caused, we are forbidden to abandon our goal of coming close to Hashem, since Hashem’s love for us never ceases and therefore it is still possible for us to return. ( Likkutei Moharan 1:13)

No matter how kinked your life is you can return to Hashem. No matter how many times you’ve fallen there is hope you can and must return to Hashem. The Zohar teaches us “no good desire is ever lost.” Rekindle your desire for Hashem and return to Him. Let His light shine in your darkness and His loving embrace. Consequently, you will shine brightly and be a source of great joy and healing in this world.

I think I am better with the spiritual applications of getting the kinks out of my spiritual life than I am with the actual hose. Some form of incipient insanity leads me to believe I can unkink the hose with brute force. I am sure the hose gets as tired as I do. May we all be blessed to remove the spiritual kinks in our lives in a positive and redemptive manner and may we be blessed to shine brightly.

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