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A lot of us think that once we get to that place where we’re spiritual, then we’ve got it made. You know… Nothing goes wrong, nobody we love gets sick, nothing bad happens to us, we get enough money to live on – in short, we get to enjoy life.
But from a spiritual point of view, we learn that if we are skating along without a stumble, we should stop and take a good look because somewhere along the line, we are not growing. The Zohar says: “For I will refine you as gold is refined,” meaning that in this life, we are constantly being refined towards reaching our potential.
Jacob the Patriarch, a tzadik (righteous soul), went through so much pain in his life. Even when he was an old man, life still threw him curveballs: He lost two wives, then went through a separation from his beloved Joseph and suffered all of the sadness that went along with that. The issues – the anguish and hardship – just kept on piling up. The Zohar tells us that for the righteous person, there is never such a thing as “enough already.” For whatever reason, such people live a life that is not tranquil.
What does this mean for us? Does it mean that every day we should take a hammer and hit ourselves with it? Of course not. Trust me, the world does it for us. What it does mean, though, is that we need to be constantly aware that there is a bigger reason for our existence on this earth beyond just waking up, going to work, eating, and sleeping. When life throws us a curveball, it is an opportunity and a gift from the Creator to help us grow.