The Baal Shem Tov taught: Whatever a Jew sees or hears is there to teach him a lesson in spiritual development.
Musings on life, spirituality and current world events.
Monday, July 01, 2013
The rumour we non-fans are hearing from Wimbledon is that last week's matches included Weird Wednesday
at Wimbledon. Blame the grass on the courts or criticise the athletes for
being highly-strung, either way the tournament was a strange spectacle, as top
players succumbed to injuries or less-experienced rivals throughout the day.
Undoubtedly one of the greatest upsets was when an unknown Ukrainian player
sent Roger Federer packing.
Yip, life has its spills and
the sorts of twists and turns that great novelists could never dream up. You buy your
ticket to Wimbledon and anticipate that one of a finite number of variables
will play out. And then it unexpectedly veers way off course. Life's just like
that. "Man proposes and G-d disposes," as they say.
Last week's upsets could serve
as a healthy reminder that we always have to stay on top of our game. Past
successes are no guarantee that we will continue to hold our lead. At any time
a new contender can enter our space and displace us. The greatest champion can
be brought to his knees by complacency, as the Alter Rebbe teaches in Tanya. There's
only one way to stay on top- keep working to stay there.
Perhaps the best lesson from
the centre-court meltdown is Federer's attitude to his shock defeat. "You
can't have 'em all", he lamented.
It's unrealistic to imagine that
we'd succeed in everything we do every time we try to do it. We'll always have
our good and bad days. Too often, I encounter people who feel that a failure
(or even a series of failures) means thattheyare a failure. You can't win
'em all. Keep moving.
And that's just what Federer
committed to do, to keep playing "for many years to come". When we
fall down or let ourselves down, there really is only one appropriate way to
respond. Get up, dust off and move on.