The Ride of a Lifetime

The Ride of a Lifetime

One fundamental concept in Jewish outlook is the Hishtadlus-Bitachon Principle. Hishtadlus (or hishtadlut) is Hebrew for personal effort, such as going to work, studying, or taking care of one’s health. It’s what we all do to make a living, become successful, and stay healthy. On the other hand, Bitachon means reliance on God that our efforts will be fruitful.

The rabbis teach that Hishtadlus and Bitachon must go hand in hand. Having one without the other is not necessarily a prescription for success.

An essential insight into the Bitachon-Hishtadlus principle is that even when we are on the Hishtadlus track, we have to remember that it’s not the Hishtadlus technique itself that causes success but rather the accompanying Bitachon. However, this is only on the condition that we are making a Hishtadlus that makes real good sense (not laziness). It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it does need to be reasonable.

This is a comforting thought, for no longer do I have to feel anxious that my work, studies, or healthcare is utilizing perfect methods. For as long as I’m making a logical and industrious effort and have trust in God, then I can hope for success.

You can look at it as a partnership. Your contribution to the partnership is REASONABLE EFFORT while His contribution to the partnership is MAKING IT HAPPEN.

The benefit of this approach is that aside from the success itself, I have also brought God into my life along the way, instead of being all alone. It’s a little like a child riding a horse with his father sitting behind him, holding onto the reins too. While the child is putting out his best effort to ride it straight and safely, it’s really his father who is guaranteeing the secure and successful ride.

So, as you climb the horse of life, be sure to ride it wisely, but also allow God to climb on too, and He will ensure that you reach your destination safe and sound.

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