Section:  Avodah   Category: Innocent Observations
Acting Like An Adult In A Water Park

My 11 year old son made great progress in Yeshiva this year so we decided that he was going to have a good time and get some extra privileges during our summer vacation.  I was glowing with nachas.  I have no idea how this happened, but the next thing I knew, I was standing with a hundred screaming kids waiting on line in front of this very long and high black tube in a water park (taken over for boy's night out by Chareidim).  Real mesiras nefesh for the kinder!  

When I was a kid, I was always scared of these kinds of rides.  While I knew that everyone survived and nobody got hurt, nevertheless the "what if"  and fear factor didn't go away.  So now fast forward 30 years and I am watching this big black tube spit out kids every couple of seconds.  For some reason I was calm and relaxed, not worrying about the twisting and turning journey in the pitch black.  Not worrying about landing in a pool at a fast speed when I don't even swim so well. I not only understood mentally that there is no danger, I really felt with all my conviction that I was in safe hands and nothing would happen.  

When I got home later that night after our outing, I got an email from my boss that made me nervous.  As I was trying to fall asleep it dawned on me, the big dark ride!  Just hours before I was flying through the pitch black tunnel being thrown in all different directions with no idea what was coming next.  Yet the whole time I sat there relaxed and thoroughly enjoying the ride and it unexpected turns because I knew, that like thousands of kids before me, I would very soon come to the end and plop into a pool with a splash and no harm done.  This made me realize that I have been through enough rides in life to know that when you are flying through the dark tunnel you can relax.  Hashem has created a ride where you need to trust him that at the end all will be good.  No one ever left the ride called "life", shortchanged.  

I learned two valuable lessons that night.  First and most comforting I realized that just because a person is worried about his parnassa or anything else, it doesn't make him a Kofer or an Apikores.  When standing in the shadow of a big roller coaster, you know and believe with all sincerity that nothing bad will happen, yet you are still afraid.  Fear is normal and is not always alleviated by your mental assessment of the situation.  The second thing I learned is that it is possible to climb even higher and rid oneself of the fear altogether.  There is nothing as Geshmack as flying through life's roller coaster ride relaxed and confident that at the end it will be good.  Know that Daddy is so proud of you that not only does he take you to the park, he also comes on the ride with you, even if you can't see him.