There are many ladders in life; each person is given his or her own. The ladders present themselves as life's challenges and difficult choices. The tests you face are the ladders that elevate you to great heights—the greater the challenge, the higher the ladder.
"God sometimes gives us difficult test because He believes we can overcome it, and has endowed us with the ability to do so. Few are presented a ladder as challenging as our own individua life path.
Life is a series of choices and decisions. We're always making choices. Every moment in time is a fork on our life path. All the roads to an easy life lead a different way. No matter what we choose in life, there will be struggles. But God has given us an invaluable gift: free will. We can suffer for nothing or struggle for something. The choice is ours.
As we go through life we make decisions, and those decisions, in turn, make us. Large decisions, small decisions. Matters of great importance and the details of daily life
However, good versus evil is not the only decision we make in life. There's another sort of free choice too: Good versus better. Obstacles give us excitement. They provide us with a drive for life. It is up to us to make the right decisions and propel ourselves forward. One only need to use will and freedom of choice to decide just how high we want to soar.
The essence of humanity is free will. Free will is the "image of God" in which Adam and Eve were created.
The Source of All has defined absolute moral and conceptual principles. Living a life that expresses these principles is the definition of goodness. At every juncture, however, we are completely free to reject such a mode of life. This freedom gives substance and meaning to our choice when we "choose life".
On rare occasion we are given a glimpse of the truth just so that we know what it is that we seek. But freedom of choice can only truly exist in an environment of natural ignorance that demands discernment and intelligence to overcome. We must live in a world where neither Creator nor creation is obvious. We are then given the ability to use our powers of intelligent analysis and discernment to recognize that this magnificent mural has an Artist, and that our being painted into this mural means that our presence is of fundamental necessity for the entire enterprise of creation to be whole.
We can of course deny the beauty and purpose of the painting and remain in the state of ignorance we are born into. We can, and alas often do, use the beautiful mural of our lives merely to wrap old fish heads before throwing them into the trash. We can use our incredible powers of discernment and intelligence to attain the superficial and ephemeral, all the while making each other miserable in 101 ingenious ways.
If we saw the process of creation and the presence of the Godly in everything, if we saw the flow of energy from the Infinite Source into everything, bringing it into being at every moment, we would have no free choice in choosing the good, it would be obvious.
God expects us to make wise decisions, but ultimately these wise decisions are manipulated and guided by God, who orchestrates the circumstances to ensure that we follow the path which He planned for us. Yet we rightfully pride ourselves in being creatures that possess freedom of choice. But this choice is relegated to the arena of right and wrong, ethics and morals.
Ultimately, our choices in these areas will be our lasting legacy - because in reality they are our only real and un-influenced choices.
So, on which choices will we focus? The "big" ones, over which we have no control, or the "small" ones, which are entirely in our hands?
As is it turns out, it is the small choices which impact the world.
[Shlomo Yaffee/Yanky Tauber]