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Is G‑d Picking on Me?

Is G‑d Picking on Me?

Saved by a tow truck driver

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Dear Rabbi,

Does G‑d pick on some people? I think He is picking on me, because I have suffered one loss after another for much of my life. It seems that as soon as I have survived one tragedy, another one comes crashing down on me. I always bounce back, but I am starting to take it personally . . .

Answer:

There was once a tow truck driver who lived near a muddy old country road. Every day he would jump into his truck and drive a mile or so to a particularly sludgy bend in the road, and every day his truck would get stuck in the mud. But it was a trusty old truck, and its chunky tires and growling engine would always be able to beat the mud and climb up onto solid ground.

Most days, as he drove along, he would encounter other motorists who had unknowingly ventured onto the muddy road and gotten stuck in the bog. Some of them had been trapped there for hours, haplessly revving their engines and watching their wheels spin aimlessly in the muck. The truck driver would appear like a savior and offer them a tow, drag them out and set them back on the road.

The truck driver’s son once asked him, “Why do you always drive down this muddy road? You always get stuck in it. Why don’t you take your truck somewhere smoother, where the road is clear and dry?”

“That’s the whole point,” said the trucker to his son. “My tow truck has the power to get through that mud. The only reason I pass by there every day is to find others who are stuck and can’t get out themselves. That’s what a tow truck is for.”

Some souls are like tow trucks. They somehow have the strength to burst through the thickest and muddiest roads of life. No matter what life throws at these people, they muster the inner fortitude to get through. And so they keep getting thrown into the abyss, over and over again.

What these souls probably don’t even realize is that they are helping others. When you face a tough time and beat it, you bring light into that dark place, which can shine a path for others who are stuck in their own darkness. It could even be that the only reason you had to pass through that dark roadway is to help drag other souls out of their darkness.

Sometimes we help others directly, by sharing our experiences and teaching a new way to those who can’t see a way out. Or it may happen indirectly. The mere fact that you went through it and survived blazes a pathway, opens a door, and other suffering souls whom you may never meet suddenly find a way out of their quagmire and are set free.

So perhaps you are a tow truck soul. Perhaps sometimes you are being towed. We all experience both. But if we would realize that every time we conquer our own darkness we may be helping someone who can’t help themselves, we would be inspired to keep on trucking.

Aron Moss is rabbi of the Nefesh Community in Sydney, Australia, and is a frequent contributor to Chabad.org.
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Discussion (138)
November 11, 2013
The tow truck man
We must be like tow trucks we might be old but we are a very dependable truck. so dependable that we help other trucks get through the muddy road. We must help others in their own darkness
Jeremy
Cebu, Philippines
October 1, 2013
so in synch, Amazing! Down the "garden path" I can prove this every step of the way
I don't know how this happens. I stashed about one hundred CDs in my outside hut, where I keep the garbage, as these were from my daughter and her husband's collection but I wound up having to take them. I NEVER looked at these till now. So the first CD to land in my hand is Indonesian Popular Music, Smithsonian Fokways. This really astonishes since I wrote a note of encouragement to Andy, a FaceBook friend this AM early, who lives in the Philippines, and so also looked up the location, these islands of the big archipelago. And I see, when I opened this, the recent comment from the Philippines, first thing. Now I know, random took a hike in my life long ago, and wound up taking the signpost road, Non Random.

As to this post about the cards we are dealt, I see a Master Storyteller here, and so we suffer, but the story is not over, because there is, has to be, a profound learning curve bringing us back home, back to, The Garden. To see this: the tiny stars in my garden, on my knees.
ruth housman
marshfield hills, ma
September 27, 2013
Abyss
No matter what life throws at these people, they muster the inner fortitude to get through. And so they keep getting thrown into the abyss, over and over again.
What do you mean by getting down the abyss? Does it mean their getting down to gehenom, hell.
Jeremy
Philippimes
July 17, 2013
Haddasa
Hadassah, please tell us your mother's name so that we can pray for you.
shmuel shimmon
Canada
June 14, 2013
My lessons from JOB This story is about L O V E and it has to be, Cosmic
It feels to me that JOB is a very troubling story. And maybe it's our "JOB" to figure out the meaning of suffering. I cannot believe this has anything to do with being deserted by G_d. In fact, it feels to me, that one way or the other, we all fall down.Suffering, human misery, illness, loss, environmental pollution, cruelty to the environment, ongoing abuses both personal and global, including Nature of which we are part is endemic. So are we all, at the hands of an all Merciful G_d or an Unmerciful G_d, who spares no one, and spears us all, into despair itself? I must believe A. It's not over when, it's over and B. We're all in the same boat and C. We need to hold hands around the world, to become merciful towards each other, to learn a deep soul thing about acts of support, caring, love. And then I go to The Wall for sure, to Jerusalem, and ask, Please, maybe, you will cosider, changing this story, and moving us forward towards kind, towards mankind, towards YOUR Promise.
ruth housman
marshfield hills, ma
June 10, 2013
trials in life
It seems like lately that G-d forgot about me.I pray help others and love Hashem so much. But still Hashem seems far away lately.The most distressing thought in my life is what if Hashem rejected me for some reason ? I can not bear that. I am constantly getting sick .I bounce back from one illness to the next. I feel so alone.I am having sleepless nights and that is draining all my energy.But I said " Hashem, I will never forget to praise You". I felt in my heart at 4 am, to come to this web site and when I read Gigi from Bulgaria's comments, it helps me to know that Hashem is holding my hand and He will never let me down. Whoever reads this please pray that I can sleep well at night.I do believe that Hashem answers our prayers when we pray for others. I do have shalom in my heart after reading Gigi's comments.
Hadassah
USA
May 10, 2013
Ruth Houseman
Thought provoking observations you have. Lately it feels more and more like we are cosmic playthings. We're given free will, but we still have no choice about being born or dying. We have pretty limited choices about what we'll do in between, although there are some exceptional people who get good at exercising the power of free will. The story of Job makes me think of how much we cling to continuity. Everything in Job's life was either devestated or severely disrupted, but his faith in G-d remained constant, and G-d remaind constant for him and continuity was his strength. I'm sure there are deeper and more subtle meanings, but that's what jumps out at me today, as regards this story. So back to the truck analogy - could it be that those who are stuck and spinning their wheels have lost the power of choice? Does that become a comforting source of continuity in and of itself? Every choice we make changes things and changes us and thus disrupts the sense of continuity.
Anonymous
ottawa
May 10, 2013
how we change...
I used to believe, it was all up to me, namely, G_d had nothing to do with the minutiae of my life. I argued with people who felt this way, and once I was shown to a passage in the Zohar which said, G_d knows everything we are going to do. I was very angry about this, and didn't feel this could possibly be true. Then, my life evolved in ways I could never have imagined. I had mystic, spiritual experiences, I heard a voice, and have never forgotten what was said to me, just this one time, or what I responded, and my life now, is a continuous visible stream of synchronicity, namely the astonishment of stories that keep connecting across time and space, and have to do with everything I do, wherever I go. So in keeping a Vow I would do this, I keep writing this down, as my story continues. But I have to know, the story is deeply scripted, and involves every one of us: the astounding idea, that what is immense is also personal in deep and metaphoric ways. The signs are everywhere.
ruth housman
marshfield hills, ma
May 10, 2013
picked
I have been thinking, and it is especially evident as we age, that everyone gets something to deal with. The prospect of serious illness, such as Parkinson's, cancer, and the host of problems we do get, sometimes suddenly in diagnosis, is a sobering litany of terrifying, and if it's not directly us, it's someone we know. I don't believe anyone gets "off" easily in life. So we're all being sacrificed for a reason, and maybe, in retrospect, all this ancient Biblical talk of sacrifice is being brought home in a most personal way. People lose their beloved, wonderful children, and painful doesn't even begin to describe what they go through in trying to make sense of all this.

For me, it's all troubling, as in the Book of Job. Here was a truly decent, loving man, who was devastated, and this was part of, a bet, with Satan? I think the message here goes very deep. What is it? Why?

We know the aftermath of tragedy which is the phoenix does rise from the ashes. But we cannot condone this.
ruth housman
marshfield hills, ma
May 10, 2013
tow truck driver
Hello David M,

I have a feeling too, that I am going through trials so many times, and I pray that G-d takes me out of it. I believe it is not G-d putting us into this darkness. He is the one who is given strength and love to us to overcome the darkness. I do not believe that there are tow truck driver souls. Sometimes we are going into the trials on our own, because we are not listening to our hearts, and we do our will and not G-d's will.It is something different to help others out of the darkness then to go through trials. Do not give up and do not give up on G-d's hand. HE is with you all the time. Think about it,when you are going through trials, is it your fault ? G-d loves you very much and He will not give you more trials as you can handle. There is always a light in our lives. May G-d bless you.
Gigi
Bulgaria
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