Life Is What It Is??? by Rabbi Philip Hammond, Ph.D.
LIFE IS WHAT IT IS - ??
PEACE AMONGST CHAOS!
Viewing the world we live in, we could be forgiven if we were a little overwhelmed by the surrounding chaos. Restlessness is very high in every corner of the earth. Even the so called laid back countries like Australia have a high degree of restlessness amongst the population. Europe is a basket case, falling apart at the seams. America is facing the unknown, with the incoming Trump administration. The Middle East, is the Middle East; with constant change and tribal power struggles bringing endless pain and death. Almost every country is in debt [by the way someone must be holding all this debt] and governments appear powerless to do anything about it. Then we all have our personal challenges and issues to face adding to the challenge of finding peace amongst the chaos.
My wife and I often talk about the challenge of finding peace amongst the chaos. We look at our lives and compare them to the lives of others who are suffering greatly and ask what our problem is. We acknowledge that we should be more at peace than we are, but we still find ourselves restless. We read the lies and propaganda peddled by main stream media outlets against Israel and become angry. We see so called human rights activists aligning themselves with the tenants of Islam and become bewildered. We see the Pope choosing to leave persecuted Christians to the fate of fundamental Islamists. We see Europe welcoming criminals and allowing them to create havoc amongst societies with immunity. We witness the ugly rise of anti-Semitism throughout the world. We witness the blatant murder of people by Islamic terrorists. We witness the reluctance of governments to call these acts for what they are and the refusal to put in measures to protect their people. We witness the horrific rise in domestic violence against women and children. We witness the increase of violence in our communities. We witness the erosion of confidence and joy amongst communities and societies. We witness the destructive onslaught of hate for the God of Israel and His Children.
So where do Debra and I find moments of peace amongst the chaos? We find it in two main areas. First we find it in the fact HaShem is in total control and as I have written before, He has all in Hand. Secondly we find peace and tranquillity in the beauty of HaShem’s creation. As many of you will know, we live on a property farming beef cattle. Our property borders State Forest, so we witness Kangaroos, Wombats, Emus, Hares, Rabbits, Birds, reptiles, Dingoes, Foxes, Deer, and many other species of fauna and flora. Sitting outside with a coffee under the apple tree on a balmy night, with the breeze gently blowing, watching the wildlife, brings a little taste of heaven to our day. There is precious little else that we have experienced that can bring such peace into a world of chaos. At other times we find ourselves getting in our old Range Rover [1985 model, unregistered] and driving out into the paddock just sitting with our cattle, talking to them and patting some of them. We find this very therapeutic and many a stressful time has been eased by this. Our focus has been taken of self and put on something else. At these moments we focus on the Kangaroo feeding, or lying in the shade, enjoying life. We watch the wombat dig a hole in a place we wish he didn’t. We watch the fox quietly go about searching for food. We watch the Goanna climbing a tree looking for bird eggs. We watch a Cockatoo stealing our apples and peaches. Then a Deer may cautiously come out of the bush into the paddock to eat from improved pasture. Talking to our cattle and patting them are cherished moments and we are rewarded with their response. All these moments take away the focus on self and the current world situation.
Finding peace amongst the chaos is no easy task, but if we can focus on the beauty found in HaShem and His creation, we can find moments of peace and tranquillity.
Associating with likeminded people allowing you to share your thoughts concerns and joys can help provide a healthy dose of peace. We are created to be in a communal frame work worshipping HaShem, the provider of all peace and tranquillity. Death, pain and destruction are foreign to His character and the current world [as we know it] will come to an end and be renewed under His “original plan”. Knowing this helps many who constantly face death and destruction cope in this chaotic world. What a difference there would be if those who live in war torn environments were viewing the beauty of HaShem’s creation instead of broken bodies and buildings. What a difference there would be if people were talking to and patting cattle instead of killing and maiming people. What a difference there would be if people were planting plants instead of bombs. What a difference there would be if those who yearn to drive trucks through groups of people actually yearned to drive trucks to deliver food and water. What a difference there would be if those who are focused on death and killing were instead focused on life.
We live in a wicked world that seems to be increasing in wickedness. Finding peace within this wickedness will become more difficult as time passes. Grasping the Hand of HaShem is our only hope. As us farmers say; “Make hay while the sun shines”. Search for Him whilst He can be found and experience the peace He can bring into your life.
Press forward and find your moments of peace in this chaotic world. It can be done.