We are vessel-makers.

Yes, that’s right.

In marriage, child-rearing, business, relationships and all areas of our lives, we are vessel makers.

As I agonize over a decision that needs to be made, feel overwhelmed by a task before me, feel confused and unsure how to proceed forward, I try to remember:

We are just making the physical vessel into which G‑d’s blessings can flow. Yes, vessel-making is an important and necessary component of life. And so, we work hard to create those vessels. We think. We strategize. We “shvitz.” We turn to mentors for guidance. We try our best.

But ultimately, it is the flow of G‑d’s energy into the vessels we create that will bring about the answer and blessings we seek.

It is explained in Hayom Yom: “No matter how much effort is exerted, no one can earn one cent more than G‑d has ordained that he—this particular person—shall earn. One must do what is necessary, but one must remember that all his work is but an adjunct. The main thing is G‑d's blessing, and that blessing is earned by keeping G‑d's commands … .”1

And so, as I proceed through my day, with the inevitable ups and downs embedded within, I work hard to live from this perspective:

I am a vessel maker. I have to work hard with all of my G‑d-given physical, mental and emotional resources (time, energy, talent, etc.) to create those vessels. But … I must never forget that they are merely vessels.

I must not allow myself to get so caught up in the decisions and demands before me that I forget that my human input is merely a physical container into which G‑d’s blessings can flow.

And from that perspective, I realize that sometimes, it is time to stop

It is time to stop agonizing over how to proceed with a given issue. It is time to stop working until the wee hours of the morning on a project. It is time to stop analyzing a complicated relationship and just let it be.

Because I have made the best vessel I could. Now it’s time to focus on the true source of the answer and blessing I seek: G‑d.

And so, I say a chapter of Psalms. I reach out to help someone in need. I take on a new mitzvah.

I become aware that sometimes, you have to focus a little less on the vessel and a little more on the light that fills it.

The sleep and inner peace that follows make it all worthwhile.