Can one plan to be blessed? Obviously, we believe that when we live life as G‑d intended us to, we will find or lives blessed in many ways. Even if we do not always see the results tangibly or immediately, we certainly are aware of many blessings that come with the territory of leading a G‑dly life. But there is a verse in our Parshah, which promises us blessings we never even dreamed of.

If you will listen to the voice of G‑d... and observe the commandments... All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you... (Deuteronomy 28:2)

What does it mean that blessings will overtake you? Rabbi Ovadia Sforno, one of the classic Biblical commentators, suggests that it means you will be blessed even when you made no effort to seek those blessings. It will come out of the blue, an unexpected windfall.

"How do you know that your livelihood's in that direction and you're running after it? Perhaps it lies in the opposite direction..." The story is told of the saintly Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev that he once saw a young man running down the street. The Chassidic master stopped him and asked, "Where are you running?" The fellow answered, "To make a living, rabbi." To which the Berditchever responded, "So how do you know that your living lies in that direction and you're running after it? Perhaps your livelihood is to be found in the opposite direction, and you're running away from it?"

Do we ever know for sure? How often do the best laid plans of mice and men come to naught? Haven't we all had the experience of trying our hardest to do a deal, and yet with all the planning and strategizing nothing whatsoever materialized? And on the other hand, there may have been times when we put no work into it at all and suddenly from nowhere we landed the deal of the year? The truth is we don't know where the blessing of our livelihood lies.

Our soul may hear something on a higher plane and it filters down And so it is with spiritual blessings. There are times when we make the effort and remain uninspired and there are times when we become inspired effortlessly. According to the Baal Shem Tov, our unconscious soul may hear something on a higher plane and it filters down to our conscious soul and we are touched, moved or inspired.

We live in an era of much confusion. Many are lost, floundering about in spiritual wildernesses. But many are finding themselves too. There have been many who didn't necessarily go looking for G‑d but G‑d found them. "How did you get inspired?" "To tell you the truth, I'm not really sure. I was minding my own business and I bumped into this Rabbi." Or, "I was sitting next to this fellow on the plane..." If you feel the spirit overtaking you, slow down Or, "I was just a tourist at the Western Wall but something moved me." Everybody has a story. In some stories we went looking for G‑d, in others He came looking for us.

So if you feel the spirit overtaking you, don't speed up. Slow down. Let it catch up with you. May the blessings of G‑d overtake you and transform your life.