Asking yourself what God wants from you, as you go through your day, keeps you alert and in the right direction. His will is your compass and in this confusing maze of life...
by Yehudit Channen
When I was about six years old I walked out my front door to get away from my family. I don't remember why, I had probably fought with my brother or maybe someone had hurt my feelings. I went and crawled under a bush growing alongside our red brick house. I sat there for a few minutes and thought, “No one else in the whole world knows where I am. Except for God.” That was my first epiphany, the first time I understood that Hashem and I were together and that from Him, I could never hide. I felt happy and secure and my sensing Him seemed both natural and surprising.
As I grew up and lost my way, I became jaded and cynical. I forgot my original awareness of God but eventually I got it back. And for that I am eternally grateful. Being with Hashem provides a continual sense of wonder, even in the mundane aspects of life.
Knowing that He is constantly creating challenges to facilitate our spiritual growth makes life infinitely more meaningful. Asking yourself what God wants from you, as you go through your day, keeps you alert and going in the right direction. His will is your compass and in this confusing maze of life, we need one. Surrounded by millions of people we can feel anonymous and unnecessary.
Everybody wants to feel significant; we all want to be special and important. With Hashem as our personal choreographer, we can each star in our own movie, be the daring protagonist who steps up to the plate and delivers the goods. We can all be heroes, leading ladies and superstars. We can be the gold medal winner in our own spiritual Olympics. But it's up to us.
Only you decide on your response to what goes on around you, only you choose your reactions to what others do and say. With free choice we can be the screenwriters of our lives, adding chapters to our autobiographies as we go along. Those chapters can be boring, inspiring or stupid. They will reflect the way we lived our lives.
Our inner world can be so much richer when we keep Hashem close. Being in constant contact with Him helps us be less lonely and afraid and gives us the courage to take risks and function outside of our comfort zones.
A young woman called me after recently moving to a new neighborhood. She was having trouble acclimating to the people because they were somewhat different from the crowd she was used to. Not different in a negative sense just a bit older and more laid back. It was also difficult for her to be “the new neighbor” instead of a veteran of a community like she had been before.
Together we figured out a plan of action based on what she felt God wanted from her. We analyzed the reasons she felt uncomfortable, and tried to understand how this discomfort could help her grow in both her emotional development and in her relationship with God. Having emuna that Hashem puts us where we need to be for our personal tikunim (spiritual development) turned my friend's adjustment into a divine mission.
Living side by side with Hashem keeps life exciting. Being aware of His loving kindness keeps us strong. And like a child we can find security in our Creator, who always knows exactly where we are.
Rebbitzen Yehudit Channen began her career as a Crisis Intervention Counselor in Silver Spring, Md. in the seventies. After moving to Israel, she worked as a marital mediator and social skills instructor for kids. Following the death of a son, Rebbitzen Channen became a certified bereavement counselor and worked with young mothers who had suffered loss. Most recently she worked at the Melabev Center for the memory-impaired, as an activity director and group facilitator for families coping with Dementia. The Rebbitzen has written for numerous magazines and newspapers and recently led an interactive creative writing course called Connective Writing. Yehudit Channen is the wife of Rabbi Don Channen, Rosh Yeshiva of Keter HaTorah. They are blessed to have nine children and many grandchildren and live in Ramat Beit Shemesh. Today, Rebbitzen Yehudit Channen is a certified Emuna Therapist for Breslev Israel. You can set up an appointment with her by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org