Traveling the desert
Traveling the desertiStock

Rabbi Yisroel Reisman of Torah Vadaas Yeshiva conveyed the essence of life in an address to Yeshiva Ohr Somayech in Israel a little over a year ago.

It's based on the following: It says Bnei Yisroel traveled three days from Sinai to the border of Eretz Yisrael. But, because G-d wanted to bring them into the land, G-d made it miraculously happen in one day. However, Rashi later says that they complained for three days about the tircha, the hardship of the travels, a seeming contradiction, as it supposedly happened in one day.

Reb Chaim Kanievsky zt"l explains that when G-d shortens time, He just shortens the clock, but not the travel. The actual travel is done, only the time doesn't come off the clock.

Why didn't G-d choose the opposite model? That in fact you magically get to the spot in a minute, and therefore don't have to go through the travel.

The answer is that life is about the tumoltuous journey. G-d is willing to hasten the journey if we are willing to face adversity and meet the challenges. The Jewish people complained about an uncomfortable three days of travel after enjoying a stationary respite at Sinai for a year." They didn't realize that the "three day challenging journey was the destination."

Our job is to embrace the process, no matter how difficult it is, for that is where growth lies. Achievement is important but doesn't define our purpose. Success is about enduring the struggle with grace and putting our maximum effort into every challenge. Exhibiting such tenacity ensures that the conquering of the next challenge will come with greater ease and "speed."