I had never done this before—walk into a labor room to help deliver a baby without having met the mother or at least talked to her on the phone first.

The air in the room was heavy, and my newest client looked miserable and lost. I looked into her eyes, gave her a huge smile and introduced myself. Then we breathed through a contraction together, my eyes never leaving hers, my hand firmly on her shoulder.

She looked miserable and lost

Could it really have been only an hour earlier that I was thinking how calm and quiet the morning was? I had accidentally left my phone at home when I went to the market to pick up some vegetables. When I returned, I saw four missed calls from an unknown number. I dialed the number and a nervous man answered.

“My wife is in labor, and we are on our way to the hospital. It’s a first birth. We don’t know what we are doing. Can you come?”

I was caught off-guard, but told the man that I would try to come. I made phone calls arranging for my kids to be taken care of after school, grabbed my labor coach bag and made my way to the hospital at full speed.

I didn’t know this woman, but it was obvious that she needed me, that G‑d had arranged things so that I could be with her. The fact that I didn’t know her or her story really didn’t matter at this point. I rolled up my sleeves and focused my full attention on the woman in front of me. My goal was to help this laboring mother and her child in the journey of birth.

Why is it so hard to stay focused on our goals?

After about 15 minutes, this 25-year-old first-time mother turned to me and said, “They told me that the baby could be born with Down’s syndrome. I’m afraid.”

Deep breath, focus on the goal. I looked into her eyes again, touched her shoulder and told her, “Now we are in the birth. Let’s stay focused on the labor. We are going to take one step at a time.”

One step at a time. One contraction at a time. One goal at a time. G‑d give me strength to focus and get through this one moment.

For the next five hours, she labored beautifully, and at last, her child arrived. Was the baby born with Down’s syndrome? Was the baby healthy? One moment at a time. One test at a time. One breath at a time. And with one goal: to see the blessing in every moment.

Why is it so hard to stay focused on our goals?

For some people, the beginning of the month of Nissan means the beginning of Passover cleaning. The tasks are enormous, and the amount of cleaning, shopping and cooking can be overwhelming.

We have to approach Passover preparations one goal at a time. One drawer at a time. If I start here, but get distracted there, I’ll never make it.

And then the seder night arrives. The table is set. Everything is ready. Everything is clean and shining. But do we remember the goal of all this preparation?

A Jew is commanded to remember the Exodus from Egypt every single day of his or her life. The Exodus is the foundation of our becoming a nation, the foundation of our faith, and it is an event that is connected to dozens and dozens of other commandments. It is an event that is so significant in our lives because it is a story of pure and simple faith.

After we fled Egypt and Pharaoh, our former masters caught up with us and cried out, “We want our slaves back!” Behind us was the Egyptian army. In front of us stood the sea. Everyone was in a panic as they looked behind them and in front of them. What now? Distraction.

The children of Israel and Moses cried out, and G‑d asked Moses: “Why do you cry out? Tell them to move forward!” G‑d then told Moshe to stretch forth his staff, and the sea split.

Have faith, G‑d was saying. Keep traveling. This was not the time to think about about what would be. This was not the time to think about what had already been. Have faith, G‑d was saying. Keep traveling. This was the time to move forward with faith that G‑d would take care of them. And it was when they reached the other side and saw their enemies destroyed behind them that they could sing. They needed to first get through the test, to have faith in G‑d and to take action based on that faith, and then they could praise and sing.

We have made it through the cleaning. We have made it through the seder night. And now, the holiday is coming to an end. Are we already distracted? Have we lost sight of our seder-night faith? Are we already thinking about the task of putting away the Passover dishes or the pile of laundry?

Stay focused! Enjoy the last days of Passover and breathe the holy air that encompasses you on these days. Stay connected to pure and simple faith. There might be tragedy in front of you and behind you, but stay in the moment. Plunge into the sea and go forward with faith, and He will bring you to the other side.