He was a black-hatted chassid, but I thought he could be a storm chaser.

Then again, perhaps the storm was inside of him. He carried a cyclonic energy and as he traveled, he drew the lost and lonely wayfarers. He seemed to have an uncanny sense that something was about to happen, that he could not afford to waste a minute le­st he lose the one destined moment he had been born for.

He was seeking his life's callingTime is of essence to the storm chaser; his greatest failure is to miss a major tornado on account of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. And so, the chaser is always on the move. Though he cannot know what lies ahead, he will travel hundreds of miles to follow a storm; he will traverse states and cross borders, unstoppable in his pursuit.

I glanced around; I had lost him already. I desperately wanted to join his chase but I couldn't keep up, and besides, I didn't know the way. I later discovered that he, too, was unfamiliar with the roads, but astonishingly that didn't stop him. The gust of suspense left in his wake intrigued me; he was seeking his life's calling, and while he could not know what his particular mission was or where his search would take him, he was adamant to keep traveling.

I was captivated, because I saw in him a fleeting glimpse of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson.

If you ask those who met the Lubavitcher Rebbe, they will tell you that he had an unusual air of expectancy about him; that for the Rebbe, every single moment on earth held complete potential for cosmic change. When he spoke about the Redemption, you knew something was about to happen. It was palpable. If you ask those who heard him speak, they will tell you of the certainty in those moments, of the undeniable truth that G‑d would reveal Himself at that very instant.

They say a true chassid is a reflection of his Rebbe, but a reflection so vivid I had never seen before. Indeed, the storm chaser I had encountered was living life on the edge.

A true chaser anticipates everything, but expects nothing; this is how he survives and keeps momentum. Even several years of chasing without witnessing a single tornado will not deter him because he knows that at any given moment, anything can happen.

What's more, he knows to enjoy the journey. For him, no trip is a "bust," even if he has experienced nothing of note. He accepts and he perseveres, like the black-hatted chassid.

It is, undoubtedly, an electrifying ride; no two weather paths are alike, and with each voyage he learns new strategies for tracking storm activity. Along the way he meets other dedicated chasers who have traveled from faraway places to find the eye of the storm. They share notes, and they move on together. But there is more to their wild quest than a thrilling climax; their unspoken motto is the harder you work, the more you change yourself.

The chassid does not know why he was born, but he lives in passionate pursuit of that purposePerhaps the greatest challenge in chasing is the not knowing – not knowing where and when a storm will develop, not knowing if you are even standing anywhere close to what you are chasing. There's a lot of waiting, a lot of hoping; it's an unpredictable pursuit. But at its core, storm chasing demands quick-as-lightening movement. The expert chaser knows that he must make critical decisions within a matter of minutes – whether to continue driving, change course, or stop and wait; every millisecond counts.

The chassid does not know why he was born, but he lives in passionate pursuit of that purpose. He is storm chasing together with G‑d, and though he cannot always see the horizon, though he does not know where the journey begins or ends; he knows that he has not a moment to lose.

Like the born chaser who has no need for high-tech tools to discern developing weather conditions because he knows how to read the skies, the chassid looks humbly toward the heavens and senses which route in life he ought to take.

And then there are the stories. Oh, the stories! If every culture has its heartbeat, the chassid's is storytelling. There is no exchange as colorful and rousing as an encounter between two chassidim, replete with the ever-present "I have a story; let me share it with you." But more important is what lies behind their dialogue: the knowledge that these stories will keep them going until they meet again someday.

It is what the chaser hungers for on his long and lonely nights – a fellow's vibrant narrative to lift his spirits and invigorate his soul. Indeed, personal diaries are the life-force of the storm chaser community, and the thirst to hear an account of another's journey is implicit in every reunion.

It's strange – ever since I met the storm chaser, the world is suddenly alive.

Perhaps this is what the Lubavitcher Rebbe intended. He charged his chassidim with such fierce purpose, that now, when you chance upon a chassid, your world is forever changed.

There's a flurry of activity in the air. Wherever I turn, I see the mark of the Rebbe; he has left his footprint on every terrain. They are all carrying his spirit, and you can feel the gales of wind behind your back when you walk.

The darkness does not daunt him; the chase is onAnd our chassid, the storm chaser, is just a speck on the horizon now, but even from here it feels like something is about to happen. There's a tremendous fog in the sky and the roads are hard to navigate, but the darkness does not daunt him; the chase is on.

When we meet again, I know he'll share with me a story. It will be a marvelous tale, marked with epiphanic moments and pivotal incidents that have shaped his life thus far. Perhaps, by then, I'll have a story of my own. I'll share it too, and we will part as changed men, our hearts a little warmer and our souls a little stronger, fortified to weather everything that lies ahead.